Our thousands of volunteers play a major part in our organisation and deserve a massive 'thank you' for their excellent work.
Our volunteers provide invaluable support to children, young people and their families. Volunteers are the backbone of our charity shops our fundraising efforts, and they are a vital part of all that we do here at The Children’s Society.
If you are one of our amazing volunteers, we want to hear about your experiences and what volunteering means to you. You can post your stories on Facebook, create a video sharing your experiences with us, or send us an email.
What do our volunteers do?
Our volunteers take on a wide range of roles to support young people and our organisation. They include:
- more than 500 people directly support children, young people and their families as mentors, independent visitors, playworkers and more.
- 6500 volunteers manage networks of people who have charity boxes in their homes, workplaces etc.
- 90 diocesan presidents and coordinators who represent us to supporters and clergy in the Church of England.
- 200 speakers promote our work and encourage others to raise funds for us.
- Nearly 3500 people are members of fundraising committees that raise money for us in their local area.
- Approximately 2000 volunteers help in our 80 shops – and hopefully many more will join us in the future as we expand our shop network.
We also have a small band of fantastic volunteers who give their time and skills to support us in our work, such as marketing, policy, human resources, campaigns, records and archiving. And we must not forget our trustees who are all volunteers.
Volunteers make a difference
Thousands of people from all around the country give their time to us and here’s the difference they make:
- Volunteers make the lives of children and young people better by providing practical and emotional support so they are more independent and less isolated.
- Volunteers raise £5.3m through charity box collections, Christingle and other events and by running, cycling, swimming and doing other impressive challenges.
- Volunteers allow us to run a growing network of charity shops that generated £6.2m last year; on average, 25 volunteers support every shop.
- Volunteers bring a fresh perspective and energy to our work. Their motivation to support us makes them committed and valuable members of our team.
What people say about volunteering
'Working with young asylum seekers, refugees and new migrants has allowed me to become more open minded and reflective of the world we live in. Why wouldn’t you want to help and support vulnerable young people who value every second of your time?'
'My heart smiles when I see the happiness on the faces of the young children I interact with.'
'I have gained so much from my experience with The Children’s Society, I am more creative; ambitious and have vastly improved communication skills. I definitely want to be in this line of work in the future!'
'I have no doubt that this experience played a huge part in me being offered a place at university to train to become a social worker. But volunteering does so much more than just open doors. It’s rewarding, fun, interesting, allows you to make a genuine difference and learn about different cultures.'
'I really enjoy my role as mentor and I am even doing a level 3 diploma in youth work which I would never have thought of doing if it hadn’t been for my work as a mentor and the runaway project.'
A young person
'My Independent Visitor is the adult I have known the longest. I have had loads of carers, teachers and social workers, but he has always been there for me.'
'I know that I could not really do my job without volunteers.'
'Without volunteers, The Children's Society would be hard pushed to operate.'
There are many benefits to volunteering but in a nutshell, volunteering makes you happier, healthier and more attractive to employers.
Action for Happiness, a movement for positive social change, confirms that volunteering makes us happier. They say that we can get as much out of volunteering as the people we give our time to.
They reference research that says:
- Giving to others through volunteering and in other ways has been associated with reduced depression and anxiety, and increased personal well-being and happiness.
- Volunteering is also a way to actively participate in social and community life, which is strongly associated with happiness and life satisfaction.
When we give to others, it activates the areas of the brain associated with social connection and trust. There is even medical and scientific documentation supporting the health benefits of volunteering such as an improvement in insomnia and a stronger immune system. Everyone’s a winner.
A survey carried out by TimeBank through Reed Executive showed that among 200 of the UK’s leading businesses:
- 94% employers believe that volunteering can add to skills.
- 73% of employers would employ a candidate with volunteering experience over one without.
- 94% of employees who volunteered to learn new skills benefited either by getting their first job, improving their salary or being promoted.