It is always easier to gain new employment, if you are already working.  Even if it is in a voluntary capacity, it shows potential employers you are:

  • Serious about working
  • Wanting to make a commitment 
  • Acting responsibly
  • Managing your time
  • Not afraid to adapt to new environments
  • Acquiring new skills
  • Attempting to achieve something

If you possess these qualities, potential employers will look far more favourably upon you, than other candidates who are out of work and seem to be doing nothing.

Benefits of volunteering

  • Help make a difference to another life
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Promotes self-confidence
  • Increases motivation by giving you a reason to get up in the morning and stop procrastinating
  • Gain new skills, such as organisation, time management, communication and presentation
  • Self-discipline
  • Meet new people
  • Make new friends
  • You should be able to get a reference

Both times I have been made redundant, I was able to justify a proportion of my time being employed in a voluntary capacity.

Beware, you may be asked, for the purpose of receiving benefits, to prove what, if any, monies you receive from your volunteering.

Ways you can volunteer:

Hospital Radio

Hospital Radio can give you the following:

  • Presentation skills
  • Production skills
  • Writing skills
  • Time-management
  • Organisation
  • Confidence
  • Self-esteem
  • Team-working

You can contact your local Hospital Radio via http://www.hbauk.com Ensure you search for your region. 

Charity Shops

Besides providing many of the benefits listed, charity shops can give you invaluable experience, particularly if you are attempting to get a job in retail.

Jobs you can expect to do, include:  

  • Sorting and pricing of goods  
  • Till work  
  • Stocking shelves
  • Merchandising

You will be expected to be:

  • Reliable
  • Punctual
  • Hard working
  • Willing to work as part of a team

The best way to apply is to go in to the shop and speak directly to the Manager.

Charity Work

Here are some of the main charities and their link to find out more about volunteering:  

RSPCA:  http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/volunteer/-/article/BACS_Volunteerhomepage

NSPCC:  http://www.nspcc.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer-your-time/volunteer-your-time-hub_wdh72793.html

Age Concern and Help the Aged are now Age UK: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer

British Heart Foundation:  http://www.bhf.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer.aspx

Marie Curie:  http://www.mariecurie.org.uk/en-gb/fundraising-volunteering/volunteer

For a comprehensive list of UK Charities visit:


Volunteer centres:

There are volunteer centres across the UK to find your nearest centre visit:



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