Flexible volunteering projects can help reduce loneliness

There are lots of people who want to help others but often don’t have the time to commit to a regular voluntary role, so it is great to hear about initiatives that let people be flexible in the way they give back to their community.

At a Hub Launchpad event before Christmas we heard from someone working at Casserole Club, which helps people share extra portions of home cooked food with others in their area who are not able to cook for themselves.  By sharing food you help someone enjoy a nutritious meal, but also you might be the only form of social contact that person has all week.  This simple way of helping others in your community is only available in Barnet, Tower Hamlets, and Reigate at the moment, but that hasn’t stopped a lady in Wales – she took to gumtree to offer free meals every Monday for families in need.

Good Gym is another example of how people can help out in their communities without having to commit to regular volunteering. Here people go on organised group runs and work on community projects, so people can get fit while helping others!

Both Casserole Club and Good Gym give people a way to extend or modify their regular activities so they can help people in their communities. They also both help reduce isolation and loneliness that many people experience.

I am sure there are lots of other charities, social enterprises, and community projects that also offer flexible volunteering opportunities. Are you involved with one? Please share your experiences of them in the comments section.