Looking for local volunteering opportunities?
If you know what you want, then visit our Local Volunteer Opportunities page. Please respond to these vacancies using the email address given. Or if you prefer to volunteer on an ad-hoc basis, such as volunteering in local parks, then look at our Events Calendar.
If you'd like to be kept up to date with general volunteering workdays, events and other opportunities, then you can subcribe to our newsletter by following this link.
SWLEN publishes occasional newsletters with details of volunteering opportunities with local groups. To download a PDF of the latest newsletter, click on SWLEN Events and Opportunities e-News September 2014.
If you don't yet know what you want, then read on.
What you get from volunteering
Volunteering in the environmental field is very rewarding and enriching. You can learn news skills or gain knowledge as well as enjoying yourself without the pressure of a work setting. SWLEN, and around 100 environmental groups we support, could not function without volunteers. Many of these groups are 'friends of parks' or 'environmental conservation' groups and volunteering with them means spending time outdoors in the wonderful setting of the parks, green spaces and river corridors of leafy south west London. Other activities are indoors, where administration and IT skills can be learnt and developed.
How to become a volunteer
Decide on your interests. Would you like to learn a specific skill? Would you prefer to be in an office or be outside building a fence?
Contact the group. Ask about their volunteering opportunities, training and the support they can offer you. Be realistic about the amount of time you can offer.
Consider starting with a one-off opportunity selected from our Events Calendar
Have fun meeting people and doing new things. This is the important part!
Types of volunteer work
Usually this is for a one-off task or event, where training is provided. It includes volunteering with 'friends of parks' or 'environmental conservation' groups helping to maintain important spaces for people and wildlife. You could be building pathways, planting trees or hedges or making stag beetle loggeries. The activities are supervised by trained leaders. Other volunteering activities could involve attending meetings and events indoors, such as planning sessions, talks etc. For these opportunities see our Events Calendar.
Take an on-going and specific role within an organisation, such as a trustee/committee member, finance, website administrator or newsletter author. Roles are listed on our Local Volunteer Opportunities page, and, where appropriate, can also be listed on a national website called Do-It to which SWLEN can add volunteer adverts.
Interns are volunteers who join an organsation usually to work on a specific project over a specified length of time. At SWLEN we can offer a variety of roles to suit our needs and your interests. We have a successful track record with interns from local universities. Please contact Colin if you are interested in interning with SWLEN.