Volunteering means spending some of your free time helping others without being paid for your work. You can volunteer to help:

  • other people (such as supporting families who lost their homes during a natural disaster)
  • animals (such as rescuing pets who weren’t taken care of properly)
  • the planet (such as cleaning up polluted beaches)
  • any cause you care about!


The lovely thing about volunteering is that it helps others and helps you too! Volunteering is a great way to get out and about, meet people and feel great about helping making a difference, all while making a positive change.

Earn Your Badge!

Once you’ve volunteered, click on the badge on the right to claim your well-deserved badge! The first time you claim a badge you will get a bronze one, if you volunteer again you can get a silver and then a gold one! 

How to Volunteer

1. Decide what causes you would like to help with in your volunteering.

Almost all important causes need people to volunteer in some shape or form. Whether you want to help with homelessness, animals or the environment, you’ll be able to find a way to make a difference.

2. Look for volunteering opportunities.

You can take part in organised opportunities or you can lead your own. 

It can sometimes be tricky to find formal volunteering opportunities as a young person. Some organisations will allow you to help out with your parents or guardian, so we do recommend calling your local foodbank, soup kitchen or care home to see if they would be happy for you to help out alongside an adult. However, if you can’t find a formal opportunity, there are tonnes of volunteering opportunities available that you can create on your own, click here to view our top 20 volunteering ideas!

Remember to get your parents involved in the searching process – they can help you make sure that the opportunities that you find will be safe and fun for you! 

3. Start volunteering.

Once you have chosen what you would like to do, it’s time to get stuck in!

If you are taking part in organised volunteering:

  • Contact your chosen charity or organisation and find out when and where you can volunteer. Some places only take volunteers who are at least 12 years old. Sometimes, children can start volunteering alongside their parents. For example, if your parents volunteer at a soup kitchen you could play cards with the homeless people who eat there and bring a smile to their faces!

If you are leading your own volunteering activity:

  • Rally your friends and family together and organise a date and time you will volunteer. Always include a grown-up on the volunteering team!


Before you head off on your world-changing volunteering, check with your parents once more – tell them what you are doing, where you are going and when it will take place. Who knows, they might even decide to join you and double the volunteering impact! 

A Volunteer Who Changed the world

Amazing people all around the world give up their time to volunteer and help others. Most volunteers give their time on an occasional basis, volunteering whenever they have the time. Others volunteer all day every day. Mother Teresa was known for dedicating her life to caring for other people.

When Mother Teresa was 18, she decided to leave her family in Skopje (Macedonia) and move to Dublin (Ireland) to become a nun and teacher.

A few months after her arrival in Dublin, she took her First Profession of Vows and was sent to Calcutta (India) to fulfil her dream of becoming a teacher.

Mother Teresa taught for 17 years. One day, she heard a voice inside saying there were people who needed her more than her students. Mother Teresa left her job as a teacher and went to work in the Calcutta slumsA part of a city or town where many poor people live., helping the sickest and poorest people of the city. She was soon joined by 12 students and former teachers. They called themselves the ‘Missionaries of Charity.’

Mother Teresa devoted the rest of her life to helping the sickest and poorest people. Supported by the ‘Missionaries of Charity,’ she started an orphanage, a nursing home, a family clinic and mobile health clinics.

By 1997, when Mother Teresa died, the ‘Missionaries of Charity’ had almost 4,000 sisters working in 610 foundations across 123 countries.


Volunteering is an amazing chance to spend your free time in a way that helps other people (so much better than playing video games!). Take a look at the stories of these respected volunteers who have given up their time to help people in need:

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