What do volunteer carers do?

A volunteer carer can be many things. There are a vast number of options available if you want to get involved as a volunteer carer. At large, volunteer carer roles revolve around befriending roles and roles which are activity led.

As a volunteer carer, you can also choose how much or how little you get to volunteer. You can either have an on-going commitment, volunteering for a couple of hours every week or you can volunteer at irregular times. You take your pick, depending on your schedule. It can even be a one off volunteer carer experience. There is no rule. If you find a care organisation or care home which you really love, you may end up volunteering there for years!

There are so many reasons to volunteer as a carer. The study conducted by IVR in care homes found that 89% of staff and 75% of volunteer believed that getting involved as a volunteer in care homes had contributed major or moderate positive impacts in the care homes. As a volunteer carer you will:

  • Improve the lives of others, which in turn will improve your life
  • Interact with other like-minded volunteers
  • Being a part of a community of volunteers, contributing towards the same goal
  • Receive training and support
  • Develop future life skills
  • Gain new skills which will improve your CV

Volunteering in the care sector doesn’t mean you will necessarily volunteer as a carer in a care home. You get to choose what you want to do. There are thousands of care organisations, charities or care homes which accept volunteers.

You may want to volunteer at care events, where you will get a chance to raise funds and raise awareness for vulnerable people. Volunteering at care events is a great way to get to know people in your community and beyond and you will get a sense of satisfaction for making a difference in carers’ and elders’ lives. You don’t need any previous experience to take part as a volunteer, you simply need to:

  • Have great communication skills
  • Be a reliable person
  • Have a friendly personality
  • Ability to use your initiative
  • Passion for care
  • Be flexible
  • Have good organisational skills

There are some other care volunteering options, depending on your particular interests and the time you are willing to into volunteering. You could also become a local awareness volunteer or even a social media volunteer or insight volunteer.

All of these volunteer opportunities typically centre around the idea of spreading the word and raising awareness to care in general. Some of the things you may get involved in as a volunteer are:

  • Making connections within your local community, such as GP surgery, library, supermarket, gym, to put up posters and leaflets raising awareness to care
  • Research care charities and support elderly people with care information
  • Spread the message in the online medium about care support and raise awareness about different care options for elders
  • Develop content centred around care and adult age related diseases
  • Take part in research opportunities benefiting the elderly

These are just some ideas of what being a volunteer in the care services could do. But there are many ways in which you can leave your mark, if you are passionate about caring and about helping those in need.

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