For most of us, the desire to protect and care for children is a basic instinct. Although it's horrible to think about, not every child is lucky enough to have a loving home or good health. Children's charities are crucial for providing care and support. The good news is that there are a number of ways you can assist them in their invaluable work.
WHY VOLUNTEER WITH A CHILDREN'S CHARITY?
Lots of volunteers decide to give their time because of something that's happened in their own lives. You may decide to help a children's cancer charity after an encounter with this devastating disease.
Whatever your motivation is, helping sick or vulnerable children in their hour of need is a truly rewarding thing to do. Things like illness, abuse, hunger, neglect and abandonment can steal the happiness that every child is entitled to. You can help to give it back by volunteering with a children's charity.
HOW TO HELP CHILDREN'S CHARITIES
BECOME A FRIEND
Some charities, such as Children 1st, run befriending initiatives where volunteers act as mentors for children and young people. Gaining a new, positive role model can be hugely beneficial for the youngster you help. You'll spend time with your new friend, and help them to identify and develop their strengths. This can be a wonderful thing to do, to see - up close - how you can make a difference in a child's life.
VOLUNTEER AT A FESTIVAL
Spreading the word at festivals can be a powerful way for charities to get their message across. Engaging with the young people who are going to shape our future is crucial, and you can help organisations such as War Child do just that. As well as talking to people to raise both awareness and money, you might even get a free ticket for a festival of your choosing.
Late legendary footballer Johan Cruyff's charity, the Cruyff Foundation, supports disadvantaged children around the world. Helping around 200,000 children get active every week to improve their physical and mental health, it's also one of the leading charities for disabled children. Plenty of other organisations use sport to help children, and this can be a lot of fun for you to get involved in if you like being active, or if you've got a particular sporting skill you can pass on!
There are countless children around the world who are vulnerable for many different reasons. From poverty and hunger, to child slavery and lack of educational facilities, there are so many pressing issues to deal with. Whether you learn some new skills to go and teach English abroad, or help to build a new school in a developing country, there are plenty of ways to volunteer abroad.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU VOLUNTEER
- If you're thinking about getting involved with children volunteer opportunities, you'll need to have some background checks. DBS checks are designed to protect children and other vulnerable people, and are essential for volunteering with youngsters.
- Some volunteer roles, for example if you become a mentor, require a minimum time commitment that may stretch for at least a year. This is because you'll need plenty of training to fulfil the role, but it's also to keep continuity for the child you support.
WHERE TO GET STARTED
There's no time like the present to start making a difference. To point you in the right direction, find out more about these great charities, which People's Postcode Lottery players have raised over £27 Million for so far:
You can support all of these good causes and more, when you sign up to play People's Postcode Lottery.