Volunteering and guardianship

We are a social enterprise, which means we care about creating social value through the way we work. Supporting our property guardians to volunteer, typically in the local area, is how we do this.

When our guardians sign up with Dot Dot Dot, they are agreeing to volunteer for 16 hours a month at a charity or charities of their choice. We believe that people who volunteer make great guardians and vice versa. This is because they’re conscientious, happy to help other people and to make a place better through building community. We know our properties are in safe hands!

Dot Dot Dot guardians are currently contributing around 5,500 hours of volunteering per month to charities and community organisations in Greater London, Buckinghamshire, Lancashire, Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire. Take a look at our infographic showing the impact Dot Dot Dot guardians have had in their communities since we began in 2011.

Read on to find out more about how and where you can volunteer; and the final section of the page summarises our most recent blog posts about volunteering.

“I was doing a lot of volunteering before Dot Dot Dot, so it’s nice to have it appreciated and be able to promote your volunteering projects to like-minded people.”

Current guardian

“I think everyone should do a bit of volunteering – you discover new talents, you don’t have to quantify your time into money and you help communities and people by doing things you love!”

Current guardian

How do I volunteer as a Dot Dot Dot guardian?

If you already volunteer and are enjoying it, then we’re happy for you to keep up the good work. We don’t ask you to change what you’re doing, but we’d love to hear about it and continue to support you in it. Those who are interested in helping others and making a positive social impact generally make brilliant property guardians.

If volunteering is new for you, you can start by looking at helpful online resources which cover all or most of England. Click on the logos below to explore current opportunities.

We’re also particularly keen to support our guardians into volunteering within the neighbourhood where they live. Volunteers are always valuable, and there is an extra value when those hours are put in to support communities which are going through change. if you get housed in an area where we know of specific needs and charities working in the locality, we will make sure you’re connected with the relevant people when you’re ready to start volunteering.

Find volunteering opportunities now

We’re always on hand if you’re struggling to find the right volunteering for you but there are some brilliant resources out there for you to explore. You might end up doing something different every month, or you might be really passionate about a particular cause and get involved with one particular group.

Project Dirt is a great online platform for outdoor community projects to list volunteering opportunities and sustain these ideas with locals. If you love the outdoors, this is a great option for you. Search opportunities at Project Dirt
Do it lists all sorts of volunteering opportunities including outdoor and indoor options across the UK. Search opportunities at Do It
If you’ve got a specific skill, then Reach Volunteering lists more desk based opportunities if you want to donate that skill as part of your volunteering. Search opportunities at Reach Skills
Team London volunteering page for London specific opportunities. Search opportunities at Team London
KeyRing volunteering page for London and non-London properties. Search opportunities at Keyring now. 
whatCharity is a combination of an online directory and social media platform. You can search by location, mission, impact, causes, donor and beneficiary reviews, resources needed, size and more. It lets people see what support charities need and choose which ones to work with. Search for both London and non-London based opportunities at whatCharity here.

“The Dot Dot Dot guardians are helping out enormously at our little farm: from mucking in with the daily tasks and helping care for our lovely animals, to heading projects to expand the groups we reach and move into using the farm as a therapeutic tool. They have been absolutely fantastic, being proactive in making links with other projects and setting up trial sessions for a new service with elderly people – we wouldn’t be able to do it without them!”

Katharine Sharp, Volunteer Manager, Stepney City Farm

“Dot Dot Dot is genuinely innovative and exciting idea which could provide accommodation to hundreds of people, whilst also rewarding those who want to make a real difference to our communities. A great idea all round.”

Campbell Robb, Chief Executive, Shelter

Recent blog posts about volunteering

10 October 2019 | Spotlight on, Volunteering blogs

Spotlight on: Beth – St Mungo’s

It’s World Homeless Day 2019 today, so we touched base with Dot Dot Dot guardian, Beth, based in Oxford, to hear about her volunteering with homelessness charity St Mungo’s. Hear from Beth, on why she chose to volunteer with St Mungo’s, and how she’s been able to draw upon her skills to help people who’ve been affected by homelessness to rebuild their lives.

8 October 2019 | Volunteering blogs

World Homeless Day: help end poverty and volunteer to combat homelessness

World Homeless Day is recognised internationally in order to increase public awareness, and to educate individual communities on the issue of homelessness. We’ve compiled a list of charities with volunteering opportunities, who work at both a national and local level, and are in operation to combat homelessness and help people back into education and employment.

4 October 2019 | Volunteering blogs

Volunteering: fuss-free options to get you started

The socially conscious element at the heart of our approach at Dot Dot Dot is an important part of what attracts our kind, motivated and community-minded guardians. If getting started with your volunteering feels like a daunting task, we’ve compiled a list of some fuss-free options that will have you volunteering in no time.

A partnership: Community Links and Volunteer It Yourself

We teamed up with Community Links and Volunteer It Yourself to bring a formerly disused building back into use as an affordable property guardianship home. The result was eight volunteers gaining crucial qualifications and skills, and a low-cost home for two property guardians who will contribute positively to their community in Canning Town.

Spotlight on: Killian – Grove Park Youth Club

Property guardian, Killian, at Grove Park Youth Club tells us about the benefits of guardianship and giving the building a meanwhile purpose whilst the youth club awaits vital funding to re-open.


Questions not answered?

Do you need more support or information about volunteering and guardianship? Get in contact with us now.

Equally, if you would like to know more about how Dot Dot Dot can work with your organisation, or if we should be tackling empty buildings in your area, we’d love to hear from you.