Ever Thought of Older People and Volunteering?

 Older people and volunteeringA Practical Checklist for organisations involving older people as volunteers

  • Have fully operational equal opportunities policies which encourage older people to volunteer and to be involved more effectively.
  • Try not to adopt a narrow view of what activities are suitable for older volunteers. A choice of volunteering roles, including those which are physically and mentally taxing, should be offered.
  • Build flexibility into the volunteering role to allow older people to carry on with other things going on in their lives.
  • Support older volunteers well - do not throw them in at the deep end, or ask them to put in more time than they can spare.
  • Follow good practice in the management of volunteers in all instances, e.g volunteer policy, recruitment and selection, induction, training, supportand supervision.
  • Try to offer older volunteers something new and different from what they have been doing all their lives.
  • Offer training - the opportunity to learn should be given in a variety of formats to suit various preferred methods of learning.
  • Make your volunteers feel empowered and consult and involve them in the development of their volunteering
  • Be creative, and consider if there are tasks within the organisation which individual older volunteers or a group would be able to undertake and run as their own project, with back-up support.
  • Match older people to tasks based on their interests, abilities and skills.
  • Market volunteering to older people as something which could meet their needs and provide a new, exciting, even enjoyable, leisure activity.
  • Follow good practice in management of volunteers in all instances e.g. volunteer policy, recruitment and selection, induction, training, support and supervision.
  • Overcome obstacles, such as lack of transport or expenses - this will make it easier for older people to volunteer.



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