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Don’t have the time to volunteer? What about micro-volunteering!

Don’t have the time to volunteer? What about micro-volunteering!

Micro-volunteering is a type of volunteering that is thought to increase over the next few years. Micro-volunteering involves volunteers participating in short, one-off ‘bite sized’ volunteering opportunities. Volunteering from home and online is becoming more popular due to the accessibility and flexibility it offers. It can be ideal for those who don’t have access to transport or are short of time due to childcare but have a spare hour or so later on in the evening.
Volunteer Centre Wiltshire, run by Develop Enhancing Community Support, is aiming to increase the number of micro-volunteering opportunities it can offer to potential volunteers. These opportunities will benefit the local voluntary and community group and also allow people to make a contribution to their community. Examples of current micro-volunteering opportunities include being an online library volunteer and a social media supporter.
With technology and IT skills becoming more important in the job market this form of volunteering could also allow volunteers to increase their skill base and for those with strong experience in this area to really help a local community group and the work they do. The online library volunteer opportunity with Seeing Ear involves the volunteer adding books to the organisations online library for visually impaired service users. This involves editing and formatting MS Word files and there is also the chance to work on an exciting new project working with schools. This will support children who need books in an electronic format to enable every child to have the opportunity for a fair chance in education and to be engaged with learning. The social media supporter with Alzheimer’s Society involves a volunteer raising awareness of dementia on social media which could be done almost anywhere – even when you are sat on the bus or train travelling to work.
The Volunteer Centre Wiltshire website also contains details of one-off opportunities, often requiring volunteers for events and other one-off activities. Maybe you would like to help out at a dog show? Be a marshal at a Calne Town Council festival or a procession steward at Trowbridge carnival? You could volunteer at a garden open day in Corsham. Whatever your time commitments are there will be something for you and these opportunities allow you to contribute to a local group and your local community without having to commit to a long term volunteering opportunity.
Simone Lord, Volunteer Centre Manager, says “Micro-volunteering is a fantastic way for people to become engaged with their local voluntary and community groups who may have otherwise thought volunteering was not for them. Being able to volunteer in ‘bite-size’ chunks and in your own time when it suits the volunteer makes volunteering more accessible than ever before. We do need to be careful however that groups are not over-relying on this type of volunteering as they will still need volunteers who can commit long term depending on the volunteering opportunity”.
You can contact Volunteer Centre Wiltshire by calling 0845 521 6224 or visit www.volunteercentrewiltshire.org.uk


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