The day you retire and never have to work again is a huge life change that can take time to adjust to. You now have time to indulge in your hobbies, take holidays and enjoy the company of friends and family. It's possible you may have some time to fill, and that's where volunteering can come in.
The reasons people choose to donate their time during retirement are varied, but for many, they find that the rewards 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 number of volunteering opportunities depending on the time you have available and your individual skill set. Here are a few suggestions for you to consider if you've decided you would like to start volunteering in your retirement.
If you're looking for a great way to meet lots of new people then volunteering in a charity shop is a great place to start. It also makes an incredible difference to the charity. To find out what opportunities are available in your area, it's as easy as taking a walk down your local high street and looking out for posters. So many charity shops advertise for support whether that's for volunteers to help or products to stock their shelves.
Pass your skills on
There are many charities that focus on training different groups of people with skills that will help them to get into or return to work. These charities need volunteer teachers and trainers.
These charities include:
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. Both national organisations like the RSPCA, Cat's Protection League, RSPB and Dog's Trust and local animal shelters often need volunteers to help whether that's feeding animals or collecting supplies.
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. If you're looking for a hospice in your area where support is needed, visit your local council website for the contact details.
The National Trust has a whole host of volunteering opportunities. Whether you have an interest in history, gardening, or architecture, you can help at one of the manyu National Trust venues across 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 you need to decide on how many hours you want to give and the type of work you want to do. Once you've done this, the volunteering world is your oyster. Start checking out local and national opportunities for the ones that meet your skill set and how you would like to spend your time.
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