Whilst we know this time can be difficult for a lot of people and we encourage everyone to take the right steps to protect their mental wellbeing. However, if you are feeling like you want to help out, we've compiled a mixture of online, in-person and seasonal volunteering opportunities that you can get involved in, to help others who may be struggling during this trying time.
Want to hear a little bit more about how you can get involved in volunteering? Listen to your Mile End Volunteering Officer, Aleksandra, and Volunteering Board representative, Tasmiah, talk about your options: Introduction to Volunteering at Queen Mary 2020-21.
Make a Difference Calendar
There are lots of opportunities listed for you below, why not use this handy calendar to help you plan out your Give Back actions over the lockdown period or wherever you are in the world!
Wednesday 11th November
Head along to Action Tutoring’s talk about how you can help a young person grow in confidence and succeed.
Friday 13th November
Pack a Christmas Box for Samaritans Purse and drop it off by Mon 16th Nov.
Monday 16th November
Reach out to someone in isolation in the PosTEA campaign or through The Crisis Project.
Monday 23rd November
Join in with a re-action project through Make Sense for the week.
Tuesday 1st December
Do you have an old smartphone lying around? Why not donate it to Community Calling to tackle digital isolation?
Saturday 5th December
Host a virtual winter crafternoon and fundraise for Mind while you are at it.
Friday 11th December
Hold a Christmas Jumper Day for Save the Children.
Speak another language fluently in addition to your native language? Then why not support Translators Without Borders, a non-profit organization offering language and translation support for humanitarian and development agencies, and other non-profit organizations on a global scale.
Join a global network of digital volunteers helping Amnesty International research and expose human rights violations. Help researchers by going through photos, information and documents to form reports on several human rights issues.
Do you have a passion for languages, culture and diversity! Whether you are a local or a newcomer, you can make a difference in your city by sharing your language and culture with others. Become a Buddy with Speak.
Taking action makes you optimistic, taking care of others makes you happy. So join a group, from your sofa for a week long of action. Choose from 4 tracks including homelessness, supporting care givers, connecting with our elders and supporting small farmers.
Do you have an old smartphone that could transform the life of someone in need? Gift your old phone with Community Calling to tackle digital exclusion.
Want to be paired up with a care home resident to have video calls with them to help tackle loneliness and isolation. Then why not adopt a grandparent?
Support the London Natural History Society’s efforts to transcribe historic bird data of the capital’s species. This project aims to recover this species data for use by ecologists, conservationists, decision-makers to improve knowledge of bird populations in London and support scientific research.
Missing Maps is an open, collaborative project in which you can help to map the ‘missing’ areas where humanitarian organisations are trying to meet the needs of vulnerable people and support decision-making in relief efforts. No prior skills required. You can even organise a mapathon with your friends or join one taking place online to explore some lesser known areas of the world.
Why not send a letter to either NHS staff or care home resident, cheer up someone’s day during these dreary winter months.
Mentoring and Tutoring
Do you want to do something different this term and help make education fairer? Why not look at volunteering with one of these charities to help tackle education inequality and they can all be done remotely!
Action Tutoring – Volunteer English or Maths Tutors
The Access Project - Volunteer Tutor
Tutor a bright young person and contribute to social mobility in a real way, by supporting a 14 to 16-year-old to help them fulfil their potential at GCSE. You can make a genuine difference - a young person on this programme is twice as likely to go to a top university than a student from a similar background who is not receiving additional support. Help through one-hour weekly sessions take place online and can be flexible around your schedule.
MyTime Active - Homework Club Tutor
Volunteer at the Shadwell Homework Club supporting a local community group in their children’s education. A group of mums set-up a homework club for their children and they need support with the children’s learning development.
CoachBright – Academic Performance Coach
CoachBright run 1-1 tutoring sessions with pupils in secondary school students to help them improve their grades, confidence and independence. Volunteer 1 hour per week for 7-12 weeks, choose from English, Maths or Science.
Tutorfair Foundation - Online Maths or English Tutor
Support secondary school students delivering one tutorial a week. Choose from English or Maths, no previous experience is needed!
Kith & Kids – Autism Christmas Project Volunteer
Volunteers will work 2:1 with our members with the aim being to encourage the person with the disability to develop greater independence and social skills through his or her relationship with the volunteers and the activities they share. The project runs from 9:30am - 5:30pm Sunday 27th – Thursday 31st December. Roles are available on a part-time or full-time basis over the week.
Bow and Bethnal Green Foodbank Emergency Food Aid Appeal
Support two of our local foodbanks over the Christmas period while they fight to stay open. Due to the increased demand they are running a fundraising campaign so that they can still run in to the new year. Donate money here.
Or find out how to get involved on their websites:
Pack a Christmas Box
Why not get your flat together and go shopping for items for Christmas boxes, pack them and then drop them off at a local collection point. You will need to act quickly though as drop-off takes place 9th-16th Nov!
Host a Christmas Jumper Day
On Friday 11th December wear a silly jumper and get every single person you know to do the same! Then donate £2. Get other people involved – you could make it a competition with friends, who can make the most Christmassy scene while wearing your jumper!
Hold a Christmas Crafternoon
Get together with your favourite people on Saturday 5 December for the UK’s craftiest virtual fundraiser. Spend an afternoon folding, stitching and sticking, and raise money to make sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone.
Christmas PosTEA Campaign
Join Bird & Blend on their mission to spread Christmas Cheer to the vulnerable and isolated this year. Sign up to send a letter to someone before the end of November.
Biodiversity Volunteering with the Sustainability Team
Get involved with improving green spaces on campus and learn some gardening skills along the way, activities will include preparing ground for planting, building bug hotels, pruning shrubs and much more.
Time: Tuesdays 11:30-13:00
Location: Mile End Campus
Join us for some fresh air as we help look after the Regent’s Canal next to Mile End Campus.
Time: Tuesdays 14:00-15:00
Location: Mile End Campus
Nature Conservation Volunteering with Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park
Head to one of East London’s finest Green Spaces to get involved in helping care for the wildlife and plant life of the park
Time: Tuesdays and 1st Sunday of the Month
Location: Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, Mile End
Support Bow Foodbank
Help support the work of Bow Foodbank, registering clients and sorting donations
Time: Monday mornings, 8am-11am or 11am-1pm
Location: Bromley by Bow Centre, Bromley-by-Bow, E3
Check out the rest of our Be Kind To Your Mind campaign by clicking here, where you can find tips about staying active, connecting with others, learning new skills and staying mindful!