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Top 20 Volunteering Ideas

Find volunteering ideas and inspiration

People In Your Local Area

Help elderly people

Pay a visit to elderly people in your local area. You could help them do their shopping, cleaning, gardening, or just offer them a cup of tea and some company!

Distribute leftover meals 

Share your leftover meals with those in need. Ask your parent or guardian to walk (or drive!) the streets with you dropping off leftover hot food to homeless people. 

Make cards to show appreciation

Design cards to make people smile and show appreciation. For example, you might make cards to thank emergency workers (like police, fire brigade, paramedics).

Library helper

Volunteer to stack books in your local library. This is a really special way to help others and share a love of reading and all the joys that come with it!

Reading helper

Dedicate time to reading with younger people. Reading is such an important skill (& a fun one too!) so your time will be hugely appreciated. You could ask your local library or school whether they need any reading helpers, or just offer to help younger children in families that you already know!

Soup kitchen

Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Some soup kitchens will only allow adults to volunteer but it is always worth giving them a ring and seeing if you might be able to go along with a parent or guardian. You might be able to help lay the table, do some sous-cheffing, or serve up the meals! 

Welcome refugees

Help refugees settle into your local area. You could invite them to play at your house and share some of your toys, or enjoy a meal together, or even welcome them to stay in your home until they find somewhere to stay!

Make gifts 

Create gifts for people who are going through a tough time. For example, you might sew soft toys to wish sick children in hospital a speedy recovery. 

The Planet

Tree planting

Tree planting is a great way to connect with nature and improve our outdoor spaces. Not only do trees offer beautiful landscapes but they also help provide a home and food for animals and absorb carbon dioxide to keep our air as clean and healthy as possible.


You can pick litter in your school, local community, or at the beach! Rally your friends and family together for a fun and impactful day out. All you need is a couple bin bags, some gloves (& lots of enthusiasm and energy!). 

Become a food waste warrior

Around a third of all the food produced in the world is wasted. You can do your part by minimising your own food waste (for example by only shopping for what you need) and spread the word to friends, family, classmates, and teachers to ask them to do the same! 

Community gardening

Help out at your local community garden. This might involve choosing new plants to plant, helping harvest fruits and vegetables, pulling out weeds, and watering the garden.


Put out a bird feeder

Many birds are struggling to find food, especially in the cold winter months, so putting out bird feeders can really help keep these beautiful animals alive. Remember to keep an eye on your bird feeders and fill them up and clean them as necessary. 

Rescue injured or abandoned pets

If you see a poorly or abandoned looking animal, phone a local rescue centre or vet and see if they can help! They might be able to give you some advice for how to care for the animal, or may advise that you bring the animal in. 

Volunteer at an animal shelter

Animal shelters offer a huge variety of volunteering roles from cat cuddling to dog walking and everything in between. Give your local animal shelter a ring to ask whether they would be happy for young people to volunteer with them. Sometimes they are willing to have young volunteers if your parent or guardian comes along too!

Set up a bird bath

Birds need water to drink and bathe in. This is particularly important during the winter when natural sources of water may have frozen, or during summer when they might have dried up. You don’t need to buy a fancy bird bath to offer birds water from your home. You can upcycle something unwanted (like an old bowl or upturned dustbin lid) to make your bird bath. 

Make cat or dog toys

Animal shelters are always looking for toys for their lovely animals. You could help out by making toys out of rope and felt and donating them to the shelters. 

Dog walk

Offer to walk dogs for people who may no longer be able to walk their own dog (for example because they are too old or are poorly). This will make sure that the dog can continue to lead a happy and healthy life (& will be fun for you too!). 

Foster or adopt a pet

Fostering or adopting a pet is a really special thing to do. It gives a pet a second chance to find the loving home and family that they deserve. Ask your parent or guardian whether this is something they might consider. 

Shop cruelty-free

Avoid buying or wearing clothing that have caused animals to suffer. These include jackets stuffed with feathers (such as down), jewellery with pearls, leather shoes, fur coats, etc. 

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