Back to school – and back to volunteering?

Heather Arnatt, area co-ordinator for Voluntary Services Centre in West Lindsey
Heather Arnatt, area co-ordinator for Voluntary Services Centre in West Lindsey

It is September and that can only mean it’s back to school time, writes Heather Arnatt.

You may be jumping for joy in those first few weeks, but for some people the empty day can be just as much of a chore as the holidays.

Maybe your children have just gone to school for the first time and you’re wondering what to do with yourself?

If you’re finding yourself wishing for some grown-up company, why not consider volunteering?

Most volunteering opportunities are available for a few just hours during the day, once a week, and can be flexible in the holidays too.

Regular volunteer, and mum-of-two Emily fits her volunteering around her school activities.

She said: “I came into the volunteer centre about 18 months ago after dropping the kids off on the school run.

“I was amazed how many opportunities there are that fit in between the hours of 9am and 3pm.

“Now I come into the centre each week and spend a day helping other volunteers find roles that suit their skills and interests.

“Volunteering has given me the opportunity to spend time with other adults and develop new skills for when I decide to think about work in the future.

“It’s improved my confidence and helped me to keep my workplace skills up to date, and I’ve been able to complete some free training courses too.

“It’s really flexible and I’m always able to take time out during the school holidays.”

Volunteering doesn’t have to just be for parents either.

If your teenager has just returned to school and is hoping to complete a Duke of Edinburgh Award, or is attending college or sixth form, Voluntary Centre Services can help to find opportunities to complement their studies.

Duke of Edinburgh volunteers need to complete an average of one hour per week of volunteering over a period of three months and sixth form or college volunteers can use their complementary activities time on a Wednesday afternoon to make a difference to their local community.

The range of opportunities available to parents is huge, from befriending to administration, catering to even getting outdoors and keeping fit.

If you’re interested in finding out more about volunteering please get in touch on 01427 613470, visit the website at www.voluntarycentreservices.org.uk or call in to the Guildhall at Marshall’s Yard between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Heather Arnatt is area co-ordinator for Voluntary Centre Services West Lindsey.