Getting involved in charity work is a great way to give something back to your local community. You can contribute directly to making the world a better place, and get more out of life yourself when doing so. This kind of activity can help you get to know your neighbours and make new friends. You can fit it around work and other responsibilities, or even get your colleagues and children involved. It’s easy to do, and there are lots of different ways to go about it.
It’s not just about money
When it comes to charity, most people think in terms of donating money, but although this is always welcome, what many charities really need is volunteers. You could be involved directly in fundraising – a more effective way of enriching a charity than just giving what you personally can afford – or you could work in a hands-on capacity – for instance, by helping at a food bank. Volunteers are always needed in charity shops, and if you have good finance, legal, computer or admin skills, then you may be able to help out a great deal in an organisational role.
UK charities that you could choose
Every area has its own local charities, and you’ll usually be able to find out about them through your local newspaper. There are also national charities with local branches that welcome support. These are some of the most popular:
- Cancer Research UK – almost everyone knows someone who’s been affected by cancer. This charity supports research to improve treatments and make life easier for those afflicted. It runs regular fundraising events that anybody can join in with.
- Penny Appeal – this charity helps some of the world’s poorest people, providing food and water and helping communities to break the cycle of poverty. It’s based around getting people to donate their small change, and you can help by setting up a Penny Appeal collection point in your workplace.
- RSPCA – Britain’s biggest animal charity, it stands up for the rights of animals and helps to rescue and rehome individual animals in need. There are lots of ways to volunteer for this charity, whether or not you want to work directly with animals, and they provide training.
- RNLI – Britain’s fourth emergency service, as it is often known, saves lives at sea, helps flood victims and keeps beaches safe. Many different volunteering opportunities are available, and if you have a busy schedule, you can help out on an occasional basis.
- National Trust – this charity is dedicated to preserving historic sites, beautiful places and important nature reserves for the public to enjoy. You can volunteer as a guide or gardener, or, if you have the right skills, get involved in restoration and maintenance work, all in amazing surroundings.
Fun ways to get involved
If your time and money is limited, there are lots of fun ways to help charities on an occasional basis. Taking part in fun runs or sponsored events – everything from knitting to throwing yourself out of a plane – can raise money and help your chosen charity get publicity. It’s fun to do with friends and can benefit your community in lots of ways.