Supporting your community

If you are interested in volunteering or making your current group or activity more welcoming, this article contains information and advice on how to take the next step.

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Volunteering opportunities, information and resources

You can search for volunteering services in your local area by browsing our directory.

The South Gloucestershire Council websiteSouth Gloucestershire Volunteer Centre Partnership and GOV.UK also provide information on volunteering.

Milestones Trust offer lots of different opportunities to support users of their service, including sharing your hobbies or interests, befriending, helping people take part in activities, or accompanying individuals on trips. No specific skills are needed, just a willingness to bring an added dimension to someone’s life.

If you love animals, becoming a volunteer for Cinnamon Trust means you will provide peace of mind and practical help for those who need it. This can include walking the dog of a housebound owner, or providing a temporary fostering service for pets whose owners face a spell in hospital.

South Gloucestershire Council are currently looking for a wider pool of voluntary leaders and supporters for the local Duke of Edinburgh's (DofE) awards scheme. For more information read the Duke of Edinburgh's (DofE) awards main page

Setting up an activity or group

If you would like some advice about how to set up an activity or group, you can contact the following organisations with development workers who can support you.

Volunteers are encouraged to offer their services only for activities that they would feel happy and confident to carry out. This handbook explains what a Good Neighbours Network is and how it works, and gives useful information and sample documents to anyone developing a network in their area.

For more information contact

Being a welcoming organisation or group

Welcoming older people could benefit your existing organisation or group, by enabling people of all ages to actively participate in community activities.

Here is a simple checklist of prompts for organisations and groups to consider and adopt:

  • offer a range of activities and a number of different ways in which people can contribute depending on their skills, knowledge, or particular characteristics such as gender, ethnicity, disability, or religion
  • promote your organisation or group using social media, posters at public venues, local newsletters and free publications. You can also add your group or organisation to our local directory
  • Ensure that you provide training or awareness raising opportunities relating to equality and diversity for management, committee members, staff and volunteers.

Celebrate someone who deserves to be recognised

If you know of someone who deserves to be recognised for the work they are doing in their community, you can nominate them for a South Gloucestershire Council Chair’s Community Award.

Further information

The NHS website contains information about the ways you can do your bit to help lonely or socially isolated elderly people in your community, including during the winter season, when older people can be particularly vulnerable.