Keen to volunteer but can’t find any volunteer opportunities in your community? Create your own project!

Step 1: Write down your skills and talents.
What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? Here are just a few ideas:

  • I’m good at using Instagram
  • I can show people how to use a cell phone
  • I speak two languages
  • I’m great at baking
  • I can provide personal insight about disability and accessibility
  • I’m good with a soccer ball
  • I’m a strong swimmer
  • I’m confident speaking in front of groups
  • I’m good at using Excel spreadsheets

Step 2: Choose something you care about.
Find a cause or issue in your community that needs addressing. Discuss it with friends and family and explore ways everyone can help by contributing their skills and networks. For example, a local community garden needs more green waste for their compost. Your friend works in a cafe which produces a lot of coffee grounds, another friend is studying horticulture, you’re great at creating signs and posters, and your Aunt has a bike with a trailer attachment.

Step 3: Plan Your Project.
Map out what you want to achieve, and the steps that are needed.
For example:

  • Check with the cafe if it’s ok to take their coffee grounds and green waste away
  • Research the nutrients in the green waste, and how it will benefit the community garden
  • Create a poster to share online and at the cafe
  • Work out the best times to collect and deliver the green waste with your Aunt
  • Plan how you will clean the bike and trailer, and sort what tools and equipment you’ll need
  • Decide if the volunteer project is long term, or if it has a start and finish date. Think about how to minimise any problems, and reach out for help if needed.

Step 4: Learn and reflect.
As you volunteer, take photos of your volunteering and log your hours on the SVA Service Award website. Share your progress with family and friends. It’s important to address the challenges you encounter, and consider how you might do things differently next time. Take note of your successes too, and make a note of the new skills you’ve learned and contacts you’ve made.

Whilst improving the soil structure of your community garden, you’ve made useful business connections, motivated others to get involved, learnt new skills, and made a real difference in your community.