The pandemic saw 10 million people volunteering last year, and many of them say they want to keep it up in the future. Now that’s a figure we love to see. Not only does volunteering impact positively on communities and causes, volunteers benefit too.
When a culture of volunteering is built into a workplace, it’s a proven team builder and productivity booster.
A common misconception about employee volunteering is that it’s just about painting walls or gardening. But we often hear often from the charities we work with that this is not usually the kind of support they need.
Employee volunteering gives staff the opportunity to lend their skills for good or even try something new while bringing substantial and often long-term impact to charities and communities.
If you or your team are looking to support local Aberdeen charities, here are some brilliant local organisations that you can support today!
First up on our list is DRiNKLiNK, a charity whose mission is to tackle the stigma around alcohol misuse, and to support the people whose lives are affected by someone struggling with alcohol issues.
Designed to help family, friends, employers and partners, DRiNKLiNK are a community-led organisation who are taking a hands-on approach to educating and helping people throughout a difficult time.
Their MO is all about transparency. DRiNKLiNK works side-by-side with their service users and encourages people to get involved in the conversation about what support they would like the charity to provide so that DRiNKLiNK can ensure they’re providing the right kind of help, however people need it.
DRiNKLiNK works with local businesses to create volunteering programmes, which aims to provide people with valuable employability skills and professional development in a number of areas.
With mentorship, buddy systems and awards for best engagement, DRiNKLiNK’s volunteering programme is a comprehensive experience to help people build up their confidence and get them back into employment.
Four Pillars is a local Aberdeen charity which supports the LGBT+ community in the North East. They’re based around giving the ‘four pillars’ of support: mental, emotional, physical and sexual health.
Their Community Hub, based in Regent’s Quay, is friendly and approachable and they organise a variety of support groups where people can come and share their experiences about trans issues, sexual assault and discrimination.
By providing social networks and safe spaces, Four Pillars gives LGBT+ people the opportunity to make friends and talk openly and build confidence in a safe and nurturing environment.
Recognising the difficulties that reporting crime can bring, they also are trained by Police Scotland as a third Party Reporting Centre, meaning they can submit a sexual or hate crime report to the police on people’s behalf, so that crime can be reported whilst minimising the distress that the process can have on people.
They’re always on the lookout for trained volunteers, but if you’re looking to help out in another way, why not buy a watercolour painting? 35% of profits goes to Four Pillars, and you get a beautiful painting – it’s a no brainer!
Inchgarth Community Centre in Kaimhill is an MBE awarded centre, that’s ‘for the people, by the people’. It was honoured with the Queens’ Award for Voluntary Service in 2018 for the role it plays in its local community by providing activities and programmes that are accessible to everyone.
When it’s running at full capacity, Inchgarth has over 160 activities for the community. From art classes to kickboxing, and dance to crochet, Inchgarth has got something for everyone.
Inchgarth serves its whole community by being inclusive to adults and children of all capabilities. It houses Future Choices, a charity that sprang up out of council cuts to support services for people with disabilities. Their services can be found at the community centre where facilities include sensory rooms, music rooms and exercise equipment.
With so many different endeavours on the go, it’s all hands on deck at Inchgarth. If you’re interested in helping out, they have volunteering opportunities for befrienders, as well as opportunities for young people to get involved as part of the Duke of Edinburgh, or to build up their CV.
Charlie House supports children in the North East with life-limiting conditions as well as their families. Their mission is to help kids live life to the fullest, creating lasting memories for families and providing individual care to make sure that each child receives the best support available.
Their community nurses are on hand to help kids with complex care needs. They give families in the Aberdeen area tailored support and help to train them on how to use feeding tubes, create ongoing symptom assessments, and act as a go-between for different healthcare professionals.
Aside from care, they organise fun outdoor activities that the whole family can get involved in. With virtual pizza making events, ice-skating and bowling, they have something fun for children and siblings to get involved in and make friends.
Charlie House has reported an 84% increase in demand for their services throughout the pandemic and are in need of vital donations and volunteer support.
You can either get involved in fundraising events, or volunteering roles from fundraising to office support, helping out with activities and services or being a mascot.
Archway began in 1986, where a group of parents found that there were few services in Aberdeen for respite for families with a child with a learning disability and so they decided to found their own. For the last 35 years it has continued to place their service users at the heart of everything they do.
With residential short
–breaks, their homes give carers a break from their roles whilst setting up different entertainment for people with learning disabilities.
Their purpose is to provide a network of care whilst also organising outdoor activities, arts and crafts and wheelchair exercise so that they can get the support they need whilst enjoying getting stuck into crafts, games or even berry picking.
They provide respite to families by offering short stays at one of their homes, and Archway have a holiday home in Nairn that they can use. Their mission is to help people live independently and give them the supportive environment they need.
They work alongside parents to make sure that all of their services are catered to family needs. If you want to support Archway, visit their volunteering page to find out more about opportunities.
If you want to get involved with helping out your local community then best way to start, is by starting! To volunteer with these charities as an individual, you can try reaching out to them via their websites and offering your support.
Or, if your and your colleagues are ready to level up your impact and support your community in a streamlined and meaningful way through employee volunteering then please get in touch with us here to find out more about how we make employee volunteering simple.