Are you 16+ and want to help people in the local community? If you’re interested in volunteering, we’re here to help you.

Use the links below to search for volunteering opportunities in the BCP area and right across Dorset, find answers to questions you might have about volunteering, and learn about the many benefits of becoming a volunteer.

Why volunteer

Volunteering is about giving your time to help someone else or a cause you care about, without expecting payment. It’s a two-way relationship that should benefit both you as a volunteer and the people, organisation or service that you are helping.

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Volunteering is open to everyone regardless of age, background, experience. Before you decide to volunteer, you might find it useful to ask yourself some of these questions:

  • Why do I want to volunteer?
  • What am I hoping to gain from volunteering?
  • What do I enjoy doing?
  • What interests, hobbies or skills do I have or would like to develop?
  • How would volunteering help with my career development?
  • What commitment can I make; short term, one off projects, once a week, long term etc.
  • How much time can I give?
  • When can I volunteer; evenings, weekdays or weekends?
  • How far am I willing to travel to the volunteer position?
  • Does the purpose of the organisation match my own values and beliefs?

There are many benefits to volunteering. By giving your time as a volunteer you can:

  • Help others in your local community and give something back
  • Make a difference to the lives of others
  • Improve your health and wellbeing
  • Explore your interests
  • Share your skills and experiences
  • Develop new skills and knowledge
  • Gain great experience, which looks good on your CV
  • Become ‘job ready’
  • Gain confidence and self-esteem
  • Meet new people and make new friends
  • Feel valued and part of a team.

Ready to give it a try? Visit our volunteering portal to search for opportunities today.

What can I expect as a volunteer?

As a volunteer, you are giving your time for free, so it’s right that you know what to expect from an organisation in return.

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In a voluntary role, you can expect:

  • To learn about the organisation and what it does
  • A clear outline of duties – this is usually in the form of a written ‘role description’ or ‘task profile’
  • Training and guidance relevant to your role
  • Appropriate support or supervision
  • To be safe and covered by insurance to carry out the tasks you’ve been given
  • To be made aware of the organisation’s policies and procedures, including who you should talk to if you are unhappy
  • Reasonable out of pocket expenses reimbursed
  • To feel valued by the organisation and able to contribute to its development.

ENABLING Volunteering

Read: Talk to us about volunteering

Talk to us about volunteering

Regular drop-in chats and online sessions with the CAN team, find a date & venue that suits you …

Read: Search for volunteering opportunities

Search for volunteering opportunities

Use our online portal to search for volunteering roles right across Dorset …

Read: Volunteering for BU staff

Volunteering for BU staff

We’ll match your interests, skills and availability to community needs

Read: Volunteer stories

Volunteer stories

How, why and where people volunteer is different for every individual. Meet some of them here 

Read: Volunteering FAQs

Volunteering FAQs

Find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about volunteering here …

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If you’d like a chat about volunteering or want some advice about where your skills or interests might best be used, we’re here to help.

Contact Amy Collins by emailing or call 01202 466130.