Seven ways you can volunteer in Preston during 2016

Posted on - 4th January, 2016 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Recreation, Things to Do in and around Preston
Ribble Steam Railway and the Healthy Planet book shop in the Fishergate centre Pics: Tony Worrall

Ribble Steam Railway and the Healthy Planet book shop in the Fishergate centre Pics: Tony Worrall

If you’ve been inspired by the voluntary work of Preston’s Kathleen Derbyshire we thought you might want to put your spare time to good use.

There are a host of different activities and opportunities available to help others in the city.

From helping run one of the most popular attractions in the city to giving a chance for blind people to know what’s happening in the local area, there’s something to suit everyone’s skills and talents.

Here’s a selection we found, and some help on where to find more.

If we missed any and you run a voluntary organisation or charity and would like to feature your opportunities just post them in the comments below.

Love trains? You’ll love this…

The Ribble Steam Railway on the Docks is regularly ranked as one of the best, if not the best, place to visit in the city. It brings in a lot more tourists than you might think.

For steam engine fans and train anoraks it is a must-visit, but also good for a family day out.

They are volunteer run and they are seeking a raft of different positions. From volunteers in their museum, to shop assistants, cafe volunteers and young Duke of Edinburgh volunteers.

Get people reading


Based on the ground floor of the Fishergate Shopping Centre you will see what looks like a book shop.

But this isn’t an ordinary book shop. The books are free.

Want to volunteer and help ensure those who don’t have much can have a book? Healthy Planet Books for Free are looking for assistants.

Collect unwanted furniture

Emmaus Preston is a charity Kathleen has helped for many years and this could be your chance to play a part.

They need van drivers and crew to collect unwanted furniture from around the city to be sold on at its warehouse.

Emmaus also need warehouse assistants and people to help with buildings maintenance.

Drive those who can’t get about

Using your car could you give someone who can’t get to the shops, hospital or see their friends get about?

You say when you’re free and Community Transport pairs you up with those who need a lift. They may be lonely, isolate, elderly or dealing with long-term health issues.

Reading the newspaper

Galloway’s Society for the Blind produce talking newspapers for those in the city who can’t just log onto Blog Preston or pick up a copy of the Lancashire Evening Post.

If you can spare a few hours you record a copy of the paper and also edit your own recording. It then gets sent round to Preston’s blind community to keep them in touch with local goings on.

Walk a dog or care for a cat

For a lot of elderly people a dog or cat is their only companion. Could you spare an hour or two to walk their dog for them? Or care for a cat if they are going into hospital or going away?

The Cinnamon Trust allows you to register and get paired up with people nearby who need your walking legs.

In court this week

If you can spare two days per month this is a chance to support people through the court process.

You don’t need to be a lawyer. This is about emotional support. You listen to issues, organise paperwork and go with people who have no one else to court hearings.

How to search for more opportunities

The Do It website is a constantly updated listing of opportunities for volunteering. It allows you to filter by location but also interest. The above opportunities were found by filtering to a three mile radius from Preston and not setting a category.

Preston City Council also has a list of volunteering opportunities. As do Lancashire County Council. With the current financial situation of both councils it is likely they will lean even more on volunteers to help.

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals also have details of how you can volunteer at hospitals.

Do you volunteer in Preston? Let us know in the comments below

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