Start something new this spring - Volunteer and give back a little

Author: Corinne Bett   Date Posted:10 September 2015 

Spring has sprung and it’s all about new beginnings, flowers are blooming, baby animals are being born, so what are you going to start new this spring? Are you newly retired, or have somehow come upon some spare time that you don’t you know what to do with? You lucky duck! Why don’t you consider volunteering some of this spare time to a worthy cause?

Volunteer work is a wonderful opportunity for you to utilise your skills, or gain some new ones to help others. It’s also a great platform to get involved in your local community, and meet new people. And bonus, it makes you feel great!

Whether it’s teaching English as a second language to those who could really use the skill, tending a community garden, or helping to save our native animals, we’ve got lots of ideas to keep you busy and giving back.  

Meals on Wheels

Get out there and deliver meals to older people in their homes, who aren’t able to do the shopping or cook for themselves anymore. You might even make a new friend or two!  

Volunteer with animals

There are lots of cute little critters out there who are just longing for a pat and some love.

You can volunteer at your local RSPCA or animal shelter, and help make the lives of some stray or abandoned animals that little bit brighter.

Alternatively, if native animals are more your cup of tea, why don’t you help out WIRES? They need volunteers to do lots of jobs such as rescuing native animals in trouble and caring for those who have been rescued.

And here’s a great one, if you’re feeling super keen and want a cute puppy bouncing around all day long, consider becoming a puppy raiser with Guide Dogs Australia. In this volunteer job, you adopt a puppy for a time and train it up to be a fully-fledged Guide Dog to help those who need them.

RSPCA - Animal Welfare League NSW - WIRES - Guide Dogs Australia -  

Environmental conservation

The environment needs lots of help too! If you’ve got a green thumb, and like the great outdoors, then perhaps look into volunteering in environmental conservation. Jobs are varied and interesting, and so is the location of the work.

Earth watch and Conservation are just a couple of the organisations looking for volunteers, so keep your ear out for projects in your local area. Another great way to get involved in your local community and meet some of your neighbours, is to spend some time working in a community garden. You really will be able to reap the fruits of your labour, and take home some of the produce from the community garden too!

Earth Watch - Conservation volunteers -

Remote teaching opportunities for teachers

Are you an ex teacher and want to give back some more? Utilise your skills in places where they are needed most, in remote locations throughout Australia. Placements are mostly short term, from 6 weeks on.

Check out VISE - current assignments and more information.

Teach English as a second language to migrants, refugees and asylum seekers

Moving to a new country with no idea how to speak the native language can be hugely daunting. Even a task as simple as going to the corner shop to buy some milk can become a scary proposition. Help migrants and refugees in your local area to learn English and empower them with some of the skills they need for daily life.

Look up conversational classes in your local area, run through organisations such as Mission Australia, or check out the links below:

Help asylum seekers through the ASRC: Help newly arrived migrants and refugees: AMES - Navitas – SSI -

Retired Professionals and Business whizzes

Did you have a successful career in business, and want to share some of your wisdom with budding entrepreneurs? Then check out the websites below, and give someone in business a head start with your wise words and advice. Not only will you assist local business, but you can help strength the communities that they are a part of, both here and overseas.

Australian Business Volunteers - Leadership Victoria -

Help those less fortunate

Give a helping hand to those less fortunate than you. Various organisations such as Mission Australia, The Salvation Army and the Red Cross are doing great work to help improve the lives of those in need.

They have various assignments across many different areas: Mission Australia - Salvation Army -\ The Red Cross -

Donating Blood

If you really want to roll up your sleeves and help, then have you considered giving the gift of life, your blood? There is always a high demand for blood supplies and by donating one single time you can save 3 people’s lives! Incredible.

Not only are you helping people when they need it the most, but it is a great way to give back to the community and bonus you get some delicious special treats after your donation! If you are healthy and aged between 16 – 70 years old, then you can donate.

Here is a link for more information on donating blood

Travel overseas with your trade

Feeling adventurous? Volunteer holidays can often be the most rewarding. Not only do you get to have a holiday and an adventure, but you also get to give back in the process. You can use your trade from home to help communities abroad or try something new! There are so many overseas volunteering opportunities available, the world is quite literally your oyster!!

Here are a couple of websites to get you started: Australian volunteers - Involvement volunteers international -

Volunteering online

Can’t spare the time to travel, or can’t find anywhere nearby where you live to volunteer? If you’re internet savvy why not consider volunteering your skills online.

Have a look at and help people on the other side of the world! There are so many opportunities to go out there and do some good in the world with your time. So try something new this spring, and get volunteering!

Handy tip!

Here are a couple of volunteer agencies that will list various volunteer positions in your local area to get you started: Seek Volunteer - Volunteering Australia -

Written by Corinne Bett

Corinne spent her childhood helping her mother and grandfather in the garden grow various herbs and vegetables. This sparked a great interest in herbal medicine and nutrition in later life, and a passion for a wholefood diet. As a Naturopath today, she likes to empower others to utilise food as medicine, and live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. In her spare time she like to spend time in nature bushwalking and swimming, adventuring in far and exotic places, and dreaming about what kind of dog she might like to have one day.