10 easy volunteering options to get you started

February 17, 2020

One of the best parts about being a Dot Dot Dot property guardian (other than affordable housing in places like central London) is getting to give back to your community through regular volunteering work of your choice. Through volunteering, Dot Dot Dot property guardians are able to gain experience and meet new people, whilst helping make their communities safer and stronger. However, if you’ve never volunteered before you might be asking, “where do I start?”. If you’re unsure how to get started you’ve come to the right place, because we’ve compiled our top ten organisations where it’s never been easier for you to begin volunteering.

1.The Dragon Café based in Borough, London, offers an antidote to loneliness and isolation often felt by those who suffer from mental illness. They offer signposting and mental health support, as well as activities like Tai-Chi. Simply turn up on any Monday at 1pm and ask for Lu, who will tell you all you need to know about how you can help.

2. If you’re looking for a reason to ditch your gym membership, Good Gym has got you covered. Combining getting fit with doing good, it’s a great way to jumpstart your motivation for exercise whilst also contributing to your local community. Be it running to meet an older person for a weekly cup of tea and a catch-up, to running with a group to help out on community projects, there is a range of ‘missions’ in locations all over the UK that you can join. Simply fill out the application form here and get started within 2 weeks.

3. SANE provides ongoing emotional support and information to people experiencing difficult circumstances or more serious mental health issues. Their helpline, text care and support forum services are provided by volunteers who undergo a training programme to acquire the right skills and knowledge to support those who turn to SANE for help. Find out ways that you could volunteer here.

4 StreetLink helps members of the public to link people sleeping rough to local services that can give them support. Their London-based volunteers direct vulnerable people away from sleeping rough and instead point them towards appropriate organisations that have the resources to help. They are always in need of volunteers to help during the daytime, evening or weekends. To join their team and help combat homelessness, email volunteer@streetlink.org.uk.

5. Until there is a cure, Dementia Adventure is finding ways to live better with dementia. The charity dedicates their time to supporting people with dementia to get outdoors, connect with nature, themselves and their community, and retain a sense of adventure in their lives. As a volunteer, you can support their Dementia Holidays, become a Community Ambassador or Community Fundraiser.

6. Volunteering with Missing Maps means you can help to inform and maximise the relief efforts of organisations such as The Red Cross who work tirelessly to provide aid. Volunteers use satellite images and a drawing tool to mark up buildings, rivers and roads in remote areas that may have escaped previous mapping. Recent initiatives include the Nepalese earthquake and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

7. Thames 21 is committed to cleaning up London’s 400-mile network of waterways. Through huge cleanup events and community engagement, they are working towards the improved condition of rivers and canals for people and wildlife alike. If you are looking to make an impact on your local environment, the project has a huge calendar of events that you can view here. For the majority of the events, there’s no need to book; all that’s required is that you come prepared for the weather!

8. With 39 community eating projects running across the country, Foodcycle is creating a network of social eating cafes that offer a free hot meal and flowing conversation. If being part of your community is important to you, get involved with food collection, cooking meals or hosting at the projects by filling out a simple volunteering form here.

9. Silver Line utilises telephone befriending by way of a 30-minute weekly call, to provide friendship and support to anyone over the age of 65 who experiences feelings of loneliness. By volunteering as a telephone friend, you will be matched to an older person based on your own profile of interests in order to ensure genuine and lasting friendships. To help tackle isolation in communities, complete an application form and return to volunteering@thesilverline.org.uk.

10. The Big Issue Foundation’s core philosophy to ending poverty and exclusion for good is to help people help themselves – vendors use their own funds to buy magazines to sell at their own profit or loss. By extension, The Big Issue Foundation connects vendors with the services and support they need, enabling them to build their futures. Sign up here to volunteer to change lives.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Check out do-it.org or WhatCharity to narrow down your search in London and the UK.

To find out more about how volunteering and guardianship go together, check out our community website page or read some more of our property guardians volunteering stories here.

This week’s top 5 volunteering opportunities

June 24, 2016

1.UN Volunteers
Where: From Home
When: Various
Category: Translating, Writing. Editing
Commitment Level: Various

UN Volunteers have many different opportunities that you can undertake from the comfort of your home! Share your skills, knowledge and ideas from a computer anywhere in the world. To find out more and search for opportunities, click here.

2.Well Met Thamesmead
trust thamesmeadWhere: Thamesmead
When: Various
Category: Befriending, Elderly
Commitment Level: Ongoing

The Peabody Well Met befriending project in Thamesmead aims to improve quality of life for members of the community who are isolated. Befrienders can play a big part in improving confidence and providing a link to the outside world through social interaction. For more information or to register as a volunteer, please contact Sarah at Trust Thamesmead. T: 0203 828 4936 or E: sarah.feleppa@peabody.org.uk

3. Guy Fox History Project LTD
Where: London
When: Various
Category: History, Children, Education
Commitment Level: Various

Guy Fox History Project is an educational charity in London, with a mission to create innovative activities that encourage children to explore the world around them. They are looking for people who can help them distribute their resources to libraries, community centres and shops. If you are interested in this, click here.

4. Richard House Children’s Hospice
Richard HouseWhere: Liverpool Street / Woolwich Ferry
When: 14th July, 16th July, 17th July
Category: Fundraising, Hospice
Commitment Level: Ad Hoc

Richard House Children’s Hospice deliver clinical care, short breaks and other residential services to children and young adults, whilst supporting their families through counselling and bereavement support. They are looking for people to help with a few hours of fundraising and bucket collecting in July. If you are interested in taking part, please contact Rachel Green. T: 02075400230 E: RachelG@richardhouse.org.uk

5. Sutton Community Farm 
Harvesting for Our VegBag SchemeWhere: Wallington
When: 29th June
Category: Farm, Community, Harvest
Commitment Level: Ad Hoc

Sutton Community Farm aims to increase access to fresh, healthy, sustainable food and provide a shared space for people to cultivate skills, get exercise and make friends. They are looking for volunteers who have an interest in plants and vegetable production by organic methods. For more information and to register, click here.

Spotlight on Tim

April 13, 2016

Tim, a guardian with us in High Wycombe, has always gone above and beyond the 16 hours of volunteering that we ask of everyone that we house. Since October he has jumped into a variety of volunteering opportunities – from heritage preservation to fundraising.

Tim has been involved with RAF Henlow, in particular he has been working towards the Families Day, Flying Display and Youth Engineering event, which is taking place on 2nd July 2016. The aim of the event is to educate and raise money for forces charities, where this year Veterans Aid is the lead charity.

veterans-aid-logo (1)Tim says ‘I am involved in two main aspects of the event. Firstly in organising and formulating the schools engineering competition which has taken up a great deal of time. Secondly I have been contacting many of my colleagues in the air display world to arrange displays as part of the air show.’  

He has previously been involved in fundraising evenings, including the FTSE Forces Charity Boxing Night at Banqueting House, and he is hoping to repeat that success in the first half of 2016 and has been finding organisations and aircraft owners willing to donate exciting and valuable prizes to the event.

Another aspect of property guardianship is based around being good neighbours for the people in the local communities. Tim has also taken this in his stride, bonding with a group of teenagers in order to prevent littering – which has led him to be invited for a chat and a slice of pizza! He also bought a team of boys two football goals, as they were using large stones and bricks to create a goal in the road, which was dangerous for cars and other vehicles.  He has become well known among the residents, and has taken the time to get to know them.

Tim has thrown himself into village life, and also volunteers at Duns Tew Village Hall:

village hall‘I have organised the next Village Hall Coffee Morning to raise funds for a charity close to my heart, Veterans Aid. The organisation helps ex-service personnel who have fallen on hard times, offering accommodation in their hostels and advice and support in finding full time employment. The coffee mornings have all been organised by different individuals for different causes, selling coffee, tea and cakes. I have had to learn to bake all over again, but it now must be said I make a pretty mean flapjack in a variety of flavours and no broken teeth! Many people from the village have also baked cakes. This should be a fun day!’

Altogether the event raised £185 for Veterans Aid and the village hall also gained £99.

Tim is a fantastic guardian, and he enjoys it too. He says, ‘I must admit this is rather fun. There is more I can do locally and I will endeavour to find more opportunities to make a community impact.’

Get involved

  • If you’re interested in volunteering and becoming a guardian with dot dot dot, apply here today
  • Keep up to date with our news and our guardians’ volunteering experiences on Facebook and Twitter

This week’s top five volunteering opportunities

April 1, 2016

1.Bee Garden build day

Cordwainers GrowWhere: Dalston, E8 3DL
When: Thursday 7th April – 11.00 to 16.00  
Commitment Level: Regular Commitment

Help to get the Bee Garden ready for spring planting. They’ve nearly finished assembling the new raised bed planters and now need help filling them with soil. No prior experience or skills are required. For more information and to sign up, click here.

2.Friendship Works

Friendship worksWhere: Various
When: Weekends
Commitment Level: Regular Commitment

Friendship Works is looking for people to mentor children who are facing multiple disadvantages. Mentors give long term support by meeting with a young person for three out of four weekends. Activities include visiting a museum, going to a café or pursuing shared interests such as sport or crafts. To find out more and apply, click here.

3.Sustainable Merton

Sustainable-Merton-Logo-Tree-EditWhere: Various
When: Various
Commitment Level: Various  

Sustainable Merton is a community led initiative giving local residents the opportunity to do practical work to make the area a sustainable community. They are engaged in projects covering renewable energy and energy saving, local food growing, water conservation and raising awareness of issues associated with climate change. They are looking for a host of volunteers to perform a variety of roles. To find out more, click here.

4.Gardener at Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice

greenwich-and-bexley-community-hospiceWhere: 185 Bostall Hill, Abbey Wood
When: Various
Commitment Level: Various

The hospice grounds provide an opportunity for rest and relaxation for patients, visitors, staff and volunteers. In order to keep the grounds looking beautiful they are supported by a team of dedicated and committed volunteers. There are a variety of tasks including weeding, planting bulbs, watering and general garden maintenance. For more information and to register your interest, click here.

5.PACT – Prisoner’s Family and Friends Helpline Volunteer

PactWhere: Peckham
When: Various
Commitment Level: Regular Commitment

The purpose of the role is to provide support for those involved in the Criminal Justice System. Service users can contact their confidential service by telephone, email, letter, website or via the peer support group. They aim to give practical advice and emotional support and to work as a signposting agent. If you are interested in this opportunity, please click here for more information.


iu_logo_conInto University are looking for people to volunteer as Academic Support Tutors to support primary and secondary students during their after-school sessions. The programme provides free tutoring and support to young people in a stimulating classroom environment. Volunteers act as role models and support academic progress. For more information and to apply, click here.

30 January 2015 – This week’s top 5 volunteer opportunities

January 30, 2015

Top 5 London (2)

1. Volunteer receptionists urgently needed, and other roles at Positive East
When: At least one (five- hour) session a week.
Where: Stepney Green

Positive East is the leading HIV charity in East London, providing a range of services for individuals and communities affected by HIV.

Positive East

Working as part of a volunteer team, you’ll be based at Positive East’s office in Stepney, and travel and lunch expenses will be covered.

You need to be able to commit a minimum of one 5-hour session per week for a 6 month period.  All reception volunteers receive additional ‘on the job’ training for this key role.

To find out more about this role and other roles at Positive East visit their website.

2. Join the Camden Green Gym
When: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays 10.45am – 2pm 
Where: Camden’s Local Nature Reserves, Parks and Green Spaces incl. Adelaide Road Local Nature Reserve, London, NW3 3QB

  • Get active in your local green space with the Green Gym inTCV Camden
  • Keep fit while working outdoors and giving back to your local community
  • Discover hidden gems of nature on your doorstep and help increase their use and biodiversity through a range of nature conservation tasks.

Events are run across nature reserves, parks, community gardens, and in partnership with local charities. Have a look at tcv.org.uk for more information.

3. Community Clean With Providence Row
When: Mondays Between 11 and 1. 
Where: The Dellow Centre, 82 Wentworth Street, London, E1 7SAprow

Homeless charity Providence Row helps around 1,200 people a year with advice and support for housing and benefits, and helping vulnerable people with mental health and substance misuse issues.

Unfortunately the alleyway next to their building is in need of some TLC and they are looking for some volunteers to offer two hours 11am and 1pm on Mondays. Find out more about providence row’s volunteering opportunities at providencerow.org.uk

4. Home Library Service Volunteers needed
When: Flexible
Where: Royal Voluntary Service, Maidstone Road, Sidcup, DA14 5HS. Then around Bexley and Thamesmead for visits. make-difference-to-the-lives-of-older-people

RVS needs Volunteers to help the Home Library Service deliver and collect books, DVDs or CDs to older people who may be housebound or have mobility issues. The service provides regular, friendly and social contact for older people. It’s a great opportunity to:

  • make new friends
  • be part of a great team
  • develop skills and experience
  • contribute to the work of the charity by enriching the lives of older people.

Find out more about this opportunity on the RVS website.

5. Sound Advice UK needs a Community Music Event Volunteer sound
When: Sundays
Where: St Peters Crypt, Northchurch Terrace, London N1 4DA.

Sound Advice UK is a community based music and media project created by local media and creative professionals, who organise ‘Acoustic Sundays’ – an exclusive monthly event, run by a team of dedicated volunteers.

This is an ideal opportunity for volunteers with an interest in music and performing arts. Apply on the Team London website.


This week’s Top 5 Volunteer Opportunities

January 16, 2015

Top 5 London (2)

1.The Vitality North London Half Marathon needs event volunteershalf
When: 15th March 2015
Where: Allianz Park, Greenlands Lane, Hendon, NW4 1RL

​​The North London Half Marathon is a brand new event which expects to see 10,000 runners, and they need your help with either course, venue, infrastructure or information marshal roles.

The race starts at Allianz Park in Barnet, taking a traffic free route all the way to Wembley Stadium where runners will run the length of the stadium. The race then comes to a celebratory stadium finish back at Allianz Park.

This is a great volunteering opportunity that supports runners who will be fundraising for local and national charities. There are group volunteer opportunities and a free breakfast and event t-shirt will be provided! Visit their website to apply.

2. Chinese New Year 2015 London Celebrations
When: Sunday 22nd February 2015organization_logo
Where: 45 Gerrard Street, Chinatown, W1D 5QQ or Trafalgar Square, Westminster

London proudly offers the largest Chinese New Year celebrations outside of Asia, showcasing a huge range of Chinese culture including lion dances, a parade led by The Lucky Money God and hundreds of performances. The London Chinatown Chinese Association (LCCA) are looking for a variety of volunteers to help with this event.

Visit lccauk.com for volunteer roles ranging from back office support, to front of house event stewards. As well as being a part of a colourful and breath-taking event, volunteers will also be issued a certificate of appreciation for their efforts and opportunities to take part in future events.

3. Wide Horizons Pond Restoration ProjectWide horizons
When: OngoingWhere: Wide Horizons Woodland Centre, Constitution Rise, Shooters Hill, SE18 1RS

Wide Horizons is committed to allowing children to experience the outdoors and adventure as part of their development.

They recently received funding to restore an on- site pond in a mature woodland in the heart of South East London. This opportunity would be great for anyone interested in ecological or forest management who would like some hands-on experience or anyone who loves being outdoors!

They need help with making the pond a vibrant and rich habitat and all ideas would be welcomed. Visit widehorizons.org.uk to learn more.

Shelter Box

​4. Shelter Box admin volunteers needed
When: Ongoing
Where: Canary Wharf

ShelterBox is a Cornwall​-based charity that delivers emergency shelter and equipment to families who have lost everything in a disaster.

ShelterBox, the south west’s disaster relief charity with a fast growing international reputation, has had a toe-hold in London for some years. But now it has relocated and expanded its London presence with a new office suite in vibrant Canary Wharf.  If you would like to get involved, email volunteering@shelterbox.org to apply.

​5. Finsbury and Clerkenwell Volunteers – lunch club volunteers needed
When: 9.30-3pm
Where: Vibast Centre, 163 Old Street, London, EC1V 9NG

Finsbury and Clerkenwell Volunteers do a range of volunteering including weekly befriending visits, telephone counselling, assisted shopping trips, helping with practical tasks as well as running weekly lunch clubs. Main duties for lunch clubs include:

  • Preparation of vegetables, fruit, etc.
  • Assist in serving of food, under the direction of the cook
  • Washing up and clean kitchen equipment, utensils, crockery and cutlery
  • Socialising with clients
  • Working alongside existing volunteers.

To sign up for this event, register through Hands on London or email mfcvolunteers@hotmail.com.

November’s Guardian Spotlight: Eileen

November 20, 2014

Eileen Coneely picture

From tea dances for the elderly to London’s oldest pub theatre, this month we hear from Eileen, a guardian who has delivered over 70 hours of volunteering since August, who explains how Hands On London has helped her find and go great things in her spare time.

I’m not from London, and sometimes I feel like I’m still trying to figure out which way to look when crossing the street, let alone how to feel like I’m giving something meaningful back to this amazing city.

I’m not yet sure what types of organizations and causes I really want to devote myself to, which is why working with Hands on London has been such a help to me. They find volunteers for a wide range of charities that need varying commitment from their volunteers. Since becoming a guardian, this has allowed me to volunteer all over London on lots of different projects.

In the past few months I’ve volunteered with a disabilities charity, a pub theatre, a volunteer training school, a tea dance for the elderly, a women’s a cappella choir, and a homeless shelter. I’ve loved getting to learn new skills and explore London in ways I never would have imagined.

One organization I have really enjoyed working with is Livability, a charity that supports disabled adults. They are currently running The Home Design Appeal to renovate Kitchens and Bathrooms of disabled adults in London.

It’s pretty hard to imagine not being able to tasks like bathe yourself or make a cup of tea on your own, but for disabled people living in outdated homes, these indignities are part of everyday life.

Only 5% of homes in England are fully disability-friendly

Livability has been fundraising in hope to build moveable worktops and accessible wet rooms in homes of disabled Londoners to give the people they work with as much independence as possible.

Dot Dot Dot Letters: Send a letter and make a difference

October 1, 2013

Last night saw the launch of Dot Dot Dot Letters, a group who will meet regularly to write cheerful letters to people who need a bit of a pick-me-up. The possibilities are pretty much endless: soldiers, prisoners, people in hospital, people who are lonely and isolated, anyone who needs a bit of love, really! There was a great turnout and I came home with a very impressive 20 letters, all ready to be posted off to poorly children (through Post Pals), adults undergoing chemotherapy (through Chemo Angels) and to elderly people (through Neighbours in Poplar).


Hosted by Wilton’s Music Hall, we met for a couple of hours to fire off lovely letters whilst drinking tea. Actually, we were so engrossed in the letters and the conversation that hardly any tea was drunk! Sorry Wilton’s! This venue is absolutely amazing – the epitome of real life shabby chic, with really friendly staff and the sounds of passionate scenes emanating from the play in the next room – it’s well worth a visit.

I think most people will understand the pleasure of receiving a hand-written letter. I’ve been very inspired by websites like More Love Letters and One Million Lovely Letters – especially the testimonials from people who have found the letters and had a bad day completely turned around. It was amazing to have so many people come and write such a lot of letters as well as to have the opportunity to meet lots of new people. The only downside, and I mean only, was the distinct lack of cake, a serious issue that will definitely be rectified for next time.


IMG_20131001_120837 IMG_20131001_121024


This is open to absolutely everyone, you can drop in for a quick one or stay the whole time. Come and get involved, it would be great to see you and there are lots of people who would love to receive your cards and letters. If you want to hear more or get updates on when we’re meeting, email me at lizzie@dotdotdotproperty.com.

And finally, a huge thank you to everyone who came, I can’t wait to post this huge pile of letters sitting on my desk. See you next time!


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