Young parents, people who are single parents, and those looking after
large families, are all among the family groups who may need help coping
with everyday life from time to time.
Individuals facing special
transitions like the bereaved and the newly separated and divorced may
also need counselling and other forms of help.
Many of the organisations, who provide these kinds of help, use
volunteers on a regular or occasional basis. You can also be
an informal carer for family groups among your own wider family and
Much of the work required involves
basic activities like home visits, driving and befriending, though
there is also scope for volunteers in special counselling and advisory
services. Other activities in which volunteers often
participate include fund raising and administration.
Alcohol Concern www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/
Crossroads Care 0207 380 1133
Cruise Bereavement Care 0208
Family Welfare Association 0207 254 6251
RELATE (Marriage Guidance) www.relate.org.uk/
See also the organisations listed
We have not managed to identify any magazines dealing specially with this
type of helping. But most of the organisations listed above have a newsletter for their members.
Find a local group or club
that covers the type of people and personal problems with which you
would like to help (see organisations
See if your local group
offers introductory sessions or events. Take a class or course
relevant to personal and family problems at your local adult education
Consult books or magazines
on different types of personal and family problems and how to cope
Check in your local
library/paper or volunteer centre for more information.
Skills and people
People of all ages and
both sexes can volunteer to help families and individuals who have
There is no need to have special skills or knowledge but many groups
offer volunteers training in caring and giving advice.
You will probably be in contact with people from a variety of
family circumstances and various backgrounds.
You can find the families
and individuals who
need help either by contacting the specialist organisations or through
your own friends and wider family.
Equipment or clothing
As a volunteer you don't need to have any special equipment, though
volunteer drivers often use their own cars and volunteer administrators
may have their own computers and office equipment.
Some organisations like you to
wear badges or clothing to identify yourself.
A place or facilities
You can help in families and individuals in their own homes, by taking/driving people where they
want to go, or by working in a social centre or residential home.
Fund raising and administration will generally involve activities locally,
with some work at home.