- improve your employment prospects and gain new skills, knowledge and experience
- increase your self-esteem
- meet new people and get to know your local community
- make a difference to the lives of others and the community you live in
Five ways you can volunteer with us
- In your local library – teach others computer skills, run a story time, join your Library friends group, deliver books to housebound neighbours or simply help stocking books.
- In your local Child and Family Centre – help run Stay & Play sessions and baby groups, or you can help with administration or promotion of local activities. Pop into your nearest centre to find out more.
- In your local nature reserve – reconnect with nature and help conserve your local green space and join a Friends Group.
- In your local school – become one of 3,500 School Governors across Cambridgeshire who make sure children and young people get the best from their time in school.
- In your community – Become an Independent Visitor, supporting and mentoring children in social care (looked after). Try out anything from volunteering to help maintain our highways or improving our rights of way, to gritting routes to keep them safe for everyone during winter. You can also volunteer with a community organisation such as museums or Care Network.
Meet our volunteers
Adam - Volunteer at Somersham’s Local Nature Reserve
Adam has been volunteering at Somersham's Local Nature Reserve for over five years. He is involved in working through management plans, conducting surveys and exciting activities including a bio-blitz which involves a race to identify as many species of plants, animals, and other organisms as possible within a limited time!Find out how you can get involved here
Annie - Ramsey Library Board Volunteer
Annie is one of our lovely Ramsey Library Board Volunteers. Annie has been with us since the Library Board was established and has helped plan, deliver and promote a huge range of events that have taken place within Ramsey Library including working with children, arts and crafts, making birds’ nests, and many more.
Find out how you can get involved in volunteering in libraries here
Matthew- Cambridgeshire Archives Volunteer
Matthew has been volunteering with the Archives Team two mornings a week for the last six months. The Archives Team have been really impressed with Matthew’s work and how he is prepared to have a go at all the different kinds of tasks from repairing posters (pictured) and sewing books to inputting information on the computer. Matthew has autism and has really grown in confidence over the last few months, and has become a valued member of the team.
Find out how you can get involved in volunteering with archives here
Gareth - Volunteer of the Year for furniture and electrical department from the British Heart Association
Gareth is one of our volunteers and was named ‘Volunteer of the Year 2017 by the British Heart Foundation’. Gareth achieved an employment qualification by attending ‘Train Achieve and Gain’ programme (TAG) at Huntingdon Community Centre since 2015. At the end of last year Gareth, with support from TAG, started work experience at the British Heart Foundation store in Huntingdon. He helps to unload furniture and prepare it for sale, as well as helping customers that come into store. Gareth has become the real spirit and energy of the store.
Ian - Family Links Care Volunteer
Ian and his wife Wendy volunteer and provide Link Care for a boy with learning difficulties. Our Family Link Service offers short break respite care to Cambridgeshire families who have disabled children aged 0-19. We link families to carers who can welcome the child into their home for overnight stays during the week and/or at weekends. Ian and Wendy really enjoy the little boy's company, and seeing him develop each time he visits them. It provides the child's family some respite time so they can do some other things together, keeping everyone happy. Our Family Link Carers are a dedicated team who give their time to make a real difference to the lives of the children and families they support. We urgently need more carers like Wendy and Ian to help support this valuable service.
Sylvia – Rhyme-time volunteer
I thoroughly enjoy helping at Huntingdon Library Rhyme-time sessions. All the librarians are so friendly, easy going and helpful so making it a very welcoming and relaxing time.
Its lovely to meet such a diverse mix of Mums (and sometimes Dads), Carers and Grandparents (who I can relate to) along with the babies and toddlers and how after a few sessions seeing the children begin to join in and then they are off to pre-school - time goes too quickly.
I would encourage anyone who is interested in any activity organised by the Library that needs volunteers to give it a go - they will receive a warm welcome.
Gill – Story-time volunteer
I've been a Story time volunteer at Huntingdon Library for over 2 years and have loved every minute of it. I have a passion for English and reading and interacting with the children has been great fun - and I get a huge amount of satisfaction from my own sessions. It's only a small part of what the Library offers - but giving a little back to the community means a lot to me. A friend suggested 'volunteering' to me and I'm so glad that she did. The staff are all so friendly and welcoming and have been so helpful to me. Would I recommend ‘volunteering’? – absolutely, without hesitation. For me personally, it's been immensely rewarding.
Georgie - Volunteer for the Summer Reading Challenge
Over the summer holidays, I volunteered at Clay Farm library in Trumpington aiding the running of the Summer Reading Challenge ‘Mischief Makers’. Volunteers are vital for the Summer Reading Challenge running smoothly! The role includes discussing reading progress with the children, giving out stickers, puzzles and encouragement for their effort, and preparing for crafts and activities associated with the scheme. 2018 was the first time that the Reading Challenge took place at Clay Farm, yet it was a great success -- over 130 children signed up for the challenge!
I was also lucky enough to be involved in the promotion of the challenge. This included managing a promotional stall in Lion Yard shopping centre just outside the Central Library. Similarly, I shadowed some members of library staff delivering assemblies promoting the challenge in local schools.
I chose to get involved with the Reading Challenge again this year because it’s been tremendous fun in the past! The Summer Reading Challenge is a superb scheme; it starts discussion about books, reading and information. If you want to gain confidence meeting and talking to new people, it is the place for you!
The best thing about volunteering with the Summer Reading Challenge is the visible difference it has for so many groups of people, not necessarily just children! Not only can you see the visible impact of children who previously didn’t like to read for fun slowly coming to enjoy reading, but the same also happening for the parents! It was fantastic to see families reading and discussing books together within the library and at home.
Other volunteering opportunities
Search for local volunteering opportunities at doit.life/volunteer
There are also five volunteer centres in Cambridgeshire which can answer your questions and help you to find opportunities: