Volunteering options for you in retirement

Reaching your retirement and never having to work again is a huge life change. You now have time to indulge in your hobbies, take holidays and enjoy the company of your family. Many people also start volunteering in their retirement and soon find themselves busier than ever.

The reasons people choose to donate their time during retirement are very varied, but for most the rewards that it brings are huge – from new friends, to a renewed energy and a chance to continue using all the skills that they have acquired during their working life. For those on a budget, volunteering is also a great way to take part in activities or visit places for free.

There are an infinite amount of volunteering opportunities depending on the time and skill set that you have available. Here are some different ideas if you would like to start volunteering in your retirement.


Charity shops

Volunteering in a charity shop is a great way to meet lots of new people, keep your wardrobe fully stocked and it can make a real difference for the charity. If you would like to volunteer for a charity shop, then take a walk down your local high street and look out for posters in the windows.


Use professional skills

Charities run exactly like businesses, this means that they need people with all the normal professional skills that a business would need. If you are a trained accountant, bookkeeper, lawyer, marketeer, designer, web developer or highly experienced administrator then you can put these skills to good use by offering them to good causes in your retirement. You can either approach any charities that you already support, or look on local job boards or in professional magazines to find opportunities.


Pass your skills on

There are many charities that focus on training different groups of people with skills for employment. These charities need volunteer teachers and trainers. From cooking to carpentry and from maths to English, there all sorts of skills to pass on. Your local council should be able to put you in touch with any local charities that need volunteer teachers and trainers.


Animals and conservation

If you would prefer to make more animal friends, rather than human ones,  there are also many volunteering opportunities for you. Local animal shelters often need volunteers, along with nationwide charities such as the RSPB.


Local charities

Wherever you retire to, there will be local charities and organisations in the area that need volunteers. There could be a community project such as a community farm, or keeping public space clean and tidy, or charities that focus on helping disadvantaged people in the community.

Local hospices also need volunteers. Your local council will have a list of charities in the area that you can get involved with and offer practical help.


National Trust

The National Trust has a whole host of volunteering opportunities. History fanatics have the chance to be guides at historic buildings, gardening enthusiasts can contribute to some of the most prestigious gardens in the country, keen bakers can bake cakes for the tearooms and beach lovers can even go and dolphin watch in some areas of the country. You can find out more about volunteering for the National Trust here.



The RNLI is a popular option for anyone who has spent time around the UK coast and appreciates the incredible service they offer. They don’t just need crew members, but have a whole range of volunteering opportunities, from fundraising and marketing to education. If you retire to a coastal town such as Eastbourne or Brighton, then you can find out if there are opportunities with the RNLI here


There are many different ways to volunteer in your retirement. Before you start decide on how many hours you want to give and the type of work you want to do and look for the perfect opportunity to fit your skills and how you would like to spend your time.

Are you thinking about returning to work in your retirement? Take a look at these 10+ inspiring ideas for part-time jobs!

By Jenny

On 21st of March 2017

In Retirement Lifestyle