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Volunteering for the over 50s

Voluntary organisations recognise that older people bring a wealth of skills and expertise to volunteering. By passing on your skills and learning you can make a difference to people’s lives.
Whether you are still working or are retired, there are a number of things to bear in mind if you decide to volunteer. You will need to work out how much time you can afford to give and how flexible your hours need to be. Most large charities will pay travel expenses, but if you are looking to volunteer with a smaller organisation, you may have to pay for your own travel.

Volunteering in your local community
There are lots of different projects you can become involved with locally. Donating just a few hours each week can make a real difference in your local area.
Older people are often well suited to becoming mentors or coaches. You can put your highly valued skills and life experiences to good use to help other people develop their skills and gain confidence. In return, you can develop your own interpersonal skills and remain active.
There are many ways you can help the environment by volunteering. Conservation projects are often run locally by councils and voluntary organisations. There are also ‘green gyms’ organised by the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers that help you get fit at the same time as helping out.
Working with animals can be rewarding and provide new areas of interest. There are many animal charities that offer volunteering opportunities, from working directly with animals at rescue centres to helping to organise charity events. You can also help monitor the wildlife in your local area.
Employee volunteering is volunteering that is supported by your employer, either during work time or outside of work hours. If you are thinking about setting up an volunteer scheme at work you need to decide what you want to do and how you would like to get involved.
The Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme (RSVP) is an organisation that provides people aged over 50 with volunteering opportunities in England, Scotland and Wales. Volunteers can do what they want and choose when to do it. There are a wide range of activities and projects – both in groups or individually. Activities involve knitting, environmental projects, befriending people and much more.
  

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