Credit : Gateshead Council

Volunteering is always a wonderful thing to do, and what better way to start the year than with an opportunity to give back to your local area. With a variety of diverse volunteering roles available in Gateshead right now, there could be a perfect position for you!

Many companies rely on volunteers, to support their service delivery, assist them in achieving their goals and help add value to businesses. Volunteers in many organisations nourish the business and without their dedication and generosity, companies would most definitely not be as robust and successful.

Personally, I have been involved in many volunteer roles in my career, all of which have enabled me to developed a new skill set, as well as a real sense of achievement that I’m contributing to supporting the community and individuals. Within my employment, I have also relied on volunteers, each of which have undoubtably brought energy, knowledge and productivity to the services.

So why volunteer?

  • You’ll learn and develop new skills.
  • It can offer a chance to try a whole new area of employment without necessarily leaving an existing job.
  • Training and courses can be part of volunteering which can expand your qualifications and knowledge base.
  • Volunteering can often lead to paid opportunities within organisations.
  • It looks appealing on your CV that you’ve donated your time and skills to benefit others.
  • You’ll meet new people, including other volunteers. There is a real social side of volunteering.
  • The feel-good factor – job satisfaction and knowing you’re putting back into your local area or within a field of business that is significant to you.

Here’s a quote from someone who currently volunteers for a company supporting isolated people. The volunteer writes to an elderly person, providing companionship;

“I send a card each month to the lady. I always make sure it has something eye-catching and pretty on the front, like flowers or art. It means she can put it up on her windowsill or on a sideboard and I hope it makes her smile. In the card, I write a little about what I’ve been doing as well as general chat and always wishing her well. I add in a little inspirational quote each time. I know these cards cheer her up and it makes me so happy that I can do that. It may not sound much, but the gesture is important for that person.”

Credit: lakeripley.org

There are many opportunities, in Gateshead and around the North East currently that may be of interest. These include:

Health, Social and Community Care:

  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital – Response Volunteers, to support staff and patients.
  • Healthwatch – Young Person’s Engagement Volunteers, to speak with young people in the community about health and social care services.
  • Salvation Army – Volunteer Mentor.
  • Team’s Life Centre – Children’s Worker to support with pre-school activities.
  • Independent Age – Community Volunteer to support older people with exercise, social interactions, companionship and appointments.
  • Citizen’s Advice – Volunteer Adviser.
  • Gateshead Carers Association – Volunteer Befriender.
  • Peer Talk Foundation – Volunteer Facilitators to support mental health groups.
  • Special Olympics, Gateshead – Volunteer Sports Coaches and Trustees required to support the service who provide weekly sports training for children and adults with disabilities.
  • Northumbria Police – Special Constabulary. This role involves training volunteers to support the local police teams.
  • Age UK – Telephone Befriender Volunteer.
  • Brysons Animal Shelter – Various roles.
  • The Cinnamon Trust – Volunteer Dog Walker
  • Royal Voluntary Service – Home Library Service Volunteer to support with book deliveries to members of the community.

Driving and Maintenance:

  • Teams Life Centre – Maintenance Volunteer
  • Pickled Palace – Van Driver Volunteers to assist with collections for the community kitchen.
  • Age UK – Minibus Driver Volunteer.
  • Felling Food Network – Volunteer Drivers to support with food parcel delivery.
  • OurLives – Maintenance Volunteer.
  • OurLives – Gardening Volunteer.

Admin:

  • Citizen’s Advice – Admin Volunteer
  • Citizen’s Advice – Fundraising Volunteer
  • Changing Lives – Admin Volunteer

Media and Events:

  • Events of the North – Event Crew Volunteers (Race Events). Duties include marshalling, finish crew, water station crew and goody bag packing.
  • Changing Lives – Social Media Volunteer
  • Citizen’s Advice – Media Support Volunteer

Retail:

  • St Chad’s Community Project – Thrift Store Volunteer.
  • Changing Lives – Online Seller Volunteer. This role involved supporting the company’s charity shop by photographing and listing items for sale online.
  • Age UK – Volunteer Retail Assistant.

For more information on these roles, as well as many other opportunities, head to www.gateshead.gov.uk or email volunteer@gateshead.gov.uk

Further opportunities are available via many of the organisations websites. So, if you are thinking about volunteering, now may be the ideal time and your help will absolutely make a difference!


Helen Aitchison

Helen is a journalist for Radio Gateshead, a local lass who has spent the last two decades working in health and social care. She has recently set up a community interest company called Write on the Tyne which amalgamates her passion for supporting and empowering marginalised groups to thrive with her love of writing. Her debut novel, The Dinner Club, was released in March 2022 with UK based Cahill Davis Publishing, and her second book The Life and Love (Attempts) of Kitty Cook will be released in March 2023.