volunteers week 2024

Celebrating Volunteers’ Week

7 June 2024

Picture of the Volunteers' Week logo.

This week, we’re celebrating 40 years of Volunteers’ Week to inspire more people to make a difference in their communities.

Be part of the week and join The Big Help Out

This year Volunteers’ Week will also lead up to The Big Help Out, from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th June. The event will give people the chance to experience a range of volunteer taster sessions. 

Picture of our Action Tutoring volunteer group.

Find out more about volunteering as a tutor by signing up to our Big Help Out online information session, below. 

Meet our vital volunteer tutors

We chatted to some of this year’s Action Tutoring volunteer award winners to find out more about why they value volunteering.

Picture of Action Tutoring volunteer Steve Hackett.

Action Tutoring volunteer, Steve.

Steve is one of our many invaluable volunteer tutors. As an Action Tutoring Volunteer Awards 2024 winner, he knows first-hand the power of giving back. 

“I love the occasions when a pupil makes a connection or suddenly understands a concept,” Steve says. 

Picture of Action Tutoring volunteer Laura Shepherd.

Action Tutoring volunteer tutor, Laura.

Laura feels similarly. A fellow volunteer award winner, Laura’s desire to become a teacher led her to join Action Tutoring as a volunteer tutor. 

A charity which supports pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds with their English and maths education, Laura was eager to sign up. 

“Action Tutoring’s values really align with mine as they aim to help every pupil who needs support,” Laura says.

“By volunteering, I enjoy knowing how much of a difference being a tutor can make for pupils.”

Picture of Action Tutoring volunteer Claire Gregson.

Action Tutoring volunteer tutor, Claire.

Claire certainly recognises the need to give pupils “a bit of extra support”, particularly during times of global change. Retiring early from banking just as Covid arrived, she was inspired to become a volunteer tutor to support children affected.

“I felt some children were disadvantaged by the lockdown and I wanted to do something to help,” Claire says.

“Volunteering with Action Tutoring was the perfect opportunity.”

Picture of Action Tutoring volunteer tutor Heather Halls.

Action Tutoring volunteer, Heather.

Heather also knows how volunteering as a tutor really matters. Currently a medical research scientist, her maths and literacy passion was also another motivating factor in her joining Action Tutoring. 

“The small skills learnt and continued practice soon add up to increase pupils’ knowledge enormously,” Heather says. 

“By volunteering, pupils benefit from this special session time to focus on learning in a way which works for them.”

Steve, Laura, Claire and Heather were chosen as Action Tutoring Volunteer Awards 2024 winners for going above and beyond. Put forward by our programme coordinators, they have completed more than 300 tutoring sessions between them since 2022. 

So what keeps them motivated to volunteer so often and for so long?

Steve, who recently retired from being a manager in engineering, adds: “It seems harder than ever for young people to find their way in life. 

“So I wanted to continue helping in some way and by volunteering, seeing the light of understanding in a pupil’s eyes is the most rewarding feeling of all.” 

Laura, who enjoys reading, walking and music in her spare time, adds: “I’ve had many volunteer tutor highlights. 

“I love making the sessions as enjoyable as possible for all. 

“Seeing the pupils get involved in sessions after they’d sometimes initially doubted themselves, makes me smile and want to volunteer.”

Heather, who is currently based in Oxford, adds: “I have a passion for supporting children to fulfil their potential in life. 

“By volunteering, you see how the children develop in confidence over time and work together in a supportive team.” 

And what about Claire, who has tutored more than 100 sessions since volunteering with Action Tutoring last year? 

“I love getting to know the children and showing them learning can be fun,” Claire says. 

“I love volunteering because if I can give young people that bit of extra support, it feels very satisfying; win win.

Picture of our Action Tutoring volunteer group.

Volunteers Week 2024 – three ways you can get involved

12 January 2024

Every year in June the UK comes together to celebrate the incredible contribution of volunteers in our communities. Volunteers’ Week 2024 takes place from 1st to 7th June. Among other things, it’s a fantastic opportunity to say thank you to the amazing people who give their time and energy to make a difference.

Who are volunteers?

Volunteers are our neighbours, friends, and family members who give their time to causes they care about. They come from all walks of life and all ages, and they contribute to our communities in countless ways. Here’s a breakdown of Action Tutoring volunteers occupations out of those who applied in 2023:

Surprised to see such a mix? You’re not alone. Many see volunteering as something you do as a student to build your CV, or in retirement to get involved with your community. But many from other occupations volunteer, too. Employers value volunteering for a multitude of reasons, as it benefits both the employee and the organisation in terms of skills development, and it shows the company as being socially responsible and caring of the community in which they operate.

tutor with two secondary school pupils
Joanna Ball, tutor at Dalmain Primary School, Forest Hill, London

Why is Volunteers’ Week important?

Volunteers’ Week is important because it gives us a chance to:

  • Say thank you: It’s a chance to say a big thank you to all the volunteers who give their time so generously. 
  • Raise awareness: It’s a chance to raise awareness of the vital role that volunteers play in our communities.
  • Inspire others: It’s a chance to inspire more people to get involved in volunteering. There are so many ways to make a difference in your community, or further afield, and Volunteers’ Week is a great time to start.

So, how can I get involved?

There are many ways to get involved in Volunteers’ Week, whether you’re a seasoned volunteer or you’re thinking about volunteering for the first time. Here are our top three:

  1. Share your volunteering story.

If you’re a volunteer, share your story on social media using the hashtag #VolunteersWeek and tag the charity. Social media is an important tool for charities to reach new volunteers and spread awareness. Your story could inspire someone else to volunteer, donate or fundraise. 

  1. Attend a Volunteers’ Week event: 

There are hundreds of events happening across the UK throughout Volunteers’ Week, from volunteer recruitment fairs to celebration events. Closer to the time, search for events near you to find out how you can get involved.

  1. Find a volunteering opportunity: 

If you’re interested in volunteering, there are many websites and organisations that can help you find an opportunity that’s right for you, like Do-It or Charity Job. You could also find your local volunteer centre.

If you’re interested in volunteering as a tutor for an hour a week, click the button below to find out more.

Our volunteer stories

“Tutoring is one of the few things I do that gives me real satisfaction, enjoyment, and self-fulfilment. It’s very rewarding to be able to give something back to your community.”

Youcef, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at TFL

Read Youcef’s story.

“Online tutoring is great because it enables so many more tutors to help – you literally can give one hour a week. And if you’re doing other exciting things in your life, you can actually do it from different places, as long as you’ve got a laptop with you.”

Sally, retired optometrist

Read Sally’s story

“In terms of resources for classes, I had never written a class resource, I had no idea where to start. So having the workbooks that we’re all working with, and having them all every week with the templates was great, because it meant I was able to participate [alongside my studies]. In terms of time consumption, it would just take me half an hour to read over answers and read over the lesson plan before going into the session.”

Eilidh, student at the University of Aberdeen

Read Eilidh’s story

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and learn more about Volunteers’ Week. We hope we’ve inspired you to get involved in some way!

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful: