Exploring new places is all part of the fun of motorhome ownership. But have you ever wanted to give something back to these beautiful places you visit? If so, you could become a volunteer! From beach cleans to wildlife surveys, volunteering can offer something for all ages.

So how do you get started? It’s really simple, just read our quick guide to volunteering opportunities for people who love the outdoors.

However, before you head off to make a difference, make sure you’ve got specialist motorhome insurance in place to keep your vehicle and its contents covered. Give the team at Motorhome Protect a call today.

We’d love to hear about your volunteering plans and help you find the right cover for your needs.

Why volunteer?

According to the nationwide volunteering organisation Volunteering Matters, more than 21 million people a year volunteer in the UK, contributing an estimated £24bn to the UK economy.

Indeed figures show that a phenomenal 41% of people were involved in formal or informal volunteering at least once a month last year. So, what is motivating these incredible people to give so much of their time and skills freely?

There are many different reasons why people volunteer. For some it offers a way to give something back to society, while others see it as a chance to develop their skills. Here are just some of the reasons to volunteer as part of your next motorhome trip:

  • It will give you a mental and physical boost.
  • You’ll get an opportunity to learn new skills, and boost career prospects.
  • You’ll achieve a greater sense of purpose and meaning in your life.
  • It will help you connect with other people and the environment.
  • It will help reduce stress.
  • You’ll get hands-on, real-world experience that’s difficult to beat.
  • You’ll help save charities and other worthy organisations money.
  • It will help improve the local community you’re visiting.
  • By taking part in ethical and sustainable activities you’re reducing the social and ecological footprint of your holiday.
  • You’ll feel inspired.
  • You’ll have a lot of fun.

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How to volunteer

Sounds good, doesn’t it? But how can you get started as a volunteer? Here are some easy steps you can take today:

  1. Decide what you want to focus on
    Being passionate about a cause or an organisation will really help you enjoy the experience.
  2. Identify the skills and knowledge you have to offer
    How can you best be of use? An organisation could be desperate for your skills.
  3. Do you have previous volunteer experience?
    This could help the organisation place you most effectively.
  4. Determine how long you want to volunteer for
    Are you looking to be involved in a week-long project or would you prefer just a day or two? If you have a motorhome, that might enable you to volunteer for longer.
  5. Research volunteer opportunities
    There are so many beautiful outdoor locations in the UK, but sometimes you’ll need to search to find the best volunteering opportunity. If you already have connections to the area then ask around to see if there’s anything available. Not all opportunities are formal, you might have luck just calling up and offering a few hours of your time. 
  6. Consider using a volunteer site
    Going through a volunteer website could be a good option for matching you to the right opportunity. It can take much of the leg work out of  the search.
  7. Get all the relevant details for the volunteer position
    Make sure you’ve understood what exactly will be involved. That way you won’t be in for a nasty surprise when you turn up on your first day.
  8. Apply for the volunteer position
    Many opportunities require you to make a formal application. While it’s nowhere near as stringent as a job application, it’s still important to take it seriously. After all, it’s all about getting the right fit.
  9. Follow up
    If you’d contacted a campsite and hadn’t heard back after a few days then you’d follow up wouldn’t you? The same applies to volunteering opportunities.
  10. Complete any required training
    Even if the training is minimal, it’s still important that you do it to stay safe and secure. It also helps you get the most out of the experience.
  11. Begin with a limited commitment
    If you haven’t volunteered before or it’s an organisation you haven’t had much experience with, it could be worth starting off slowly. You want to have a good time and make sure it’s right for you.
  12. Be professional
    Just because you’re not being paid for your time doesn’t mean it’s okay to turn up late or finish early. Treat it just as you would a job.

Where to find volunteering opportunities around the UK

Here are just some of the organisations you can contact for volunteering opportunities. Check out their websites for the latest roles.

The Conservation Volunteers

The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) are often seen as the unsung heroes of the environment. TCV offers you the chance to work together with others to improve and care for green spaces.

You can volunteer at any time of year in a wide array of locations throughout the UK. From community gardens and local parks to Sites of Special Scientific Interest, there’s bound to be a spot just right for you.

The National Trust

As well as those wonderful houses, the National Trust also takes care of huge areas of outdoor space, too. There are many opportunities for you to get involved, from gardening and construction to conservation and maintenance.

You could indulge in a spot of historic statuary cleaning in gardens and parkland such as Basildon Park, Hughenden and Cliveden. Or perhaps take part in a beach clean on one of the many stretches of coastline this long-standing British institution looks after.

There’s no minimum or maximum age for volunteers as long as you can make a useful and safe contribution to the work. So, it could be a great idea to include in a family break. Simply choose a location and search for an opportunity!

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The National Trust for Scotland

If you’re heading north of the border into Scotland then there are plenty of opportunities to get involved here, too. From bat monitoring at Threave to buggy driving in Ben Lomond, there’s a huge range of exciting but essential roles to choose from.

The Ramblers

If you own a motorhome and love the outdoor life then chances are you’ve come across the work of the Ramblers many times over the years.

This historic walking organisation is always on the look out for volunteers to help develop or check routes. And take care of the constant path maintenance that’s needed to keep these walking routes open to all.   

Royal Horticultural Society

Exploring the huge variety of gardens on offer in the UK is a favourite pastime of many motorhome owners. But what better way to get an insight into these special places than by volunteering a few hours or days to keep them in tip-top condition?

If you're passionate about the benefits of gardening or simply want to support the RHS in making our country a more beautiful place, then volunteering could be just right for you.

English Heritage

Understanding and explaining our island’s story is a huge part of what English Heritage is all about. If you think you could play a part then volunteering could be a fulfilling element of your motorhome tour.

Whether you’re helping tend some of the most gorgeous formal gardens in England, bringing history to life for families, or supporting the curiosity of visitors, there are many roles available.

If you’re visiting one of the many stunning castles in the UK next year then consider a volunteering opportunity to help you get the most of your trip back in time. Here’s 10 of the best UK castles to inspire your fairytale dreams.

Bat Conservation Trust

Respect for nature is a big part of life in a motorhome. So, what better way to show your appreciation than by working towards the protection of one of our most beloved species? UK bat numbers have dropped dramatically over the last 100 years.

An important way to help them is by taking part in a survey to monitor their numbers. By discovering how bats are coping, organisations like the Bat Conservation Trust can come up with ways to help ensure their survival.

To take part, find a survey in the area you’re interested in and sign up. The National Bat Monitoring Programme surveys are suitable for many different levels of experience and knowledge. It’s also a lot of fun.

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

As the UK’s largest nature conservation charity there are obviously many volunteering opportunities to sort through.

If you’re planning a gap year or an extended stay in your motorhome, you could try hide building in West Yorkshire or bird and wildlife monitoring in Kent. Whatever the level of commitment, RSPB projects can give you a boost in skills and a guarantee that what you’re doing is meaningful.

Over the years the RSPB has also offered residential volunteering opportunities for people to spend a week or more on a reserve doing invaluable work.

With over 40 places to stay and hundreds of things to do, these really are fantastic opportunities. While short term placements (less than a month) are no longer available for 202,  these should reappear once the pandemic has passed. 

As well as volunteering opportunities in the UK, the RSPB can offer international roles, too. If you do decide to head abroad, be sure to check that your motorhome insurance covers foreign travel. Call the team at Motorhome Protect to check your coverage before you leave.

Woodland Trust

Every year across the UK, hundreds of volunteers help plant and protect our precious woods and trees. Whatever your skills and background, and however much time you can give, the Woodland Trust wants to hear from you.

Inland Waterways Association

Whether you fancy popping along for an hour or two to help with a canal clean-up or are looking for something longer term, there are hundreds of worthwhile projects to get involved in.

The restoration of hundreds of miles of derelict waterways throughout Britain would never have happened without the dedication of volunteers. But there’s still huge amounts of work to be done. Simply search the nearest group to your destination, get in touch with the organiser and you have a fun weekend set up in a moment!

The Marine Conservation Society

Unfortunately, while the UK has some of the best beaches in the world, they aren’t always as spotless as they should be.

From discarded fishing gear and plastic bags to ring pulls and drinking straws, plenty of rubbish washes up on our beaches, putting marine life at risk. The Marine Conservation Society is always on the lookout for caring individuals, families, and couples to help keep our beaches clean.

So, if you’re heading off to one of the best beaches in the UK, why not fit in a spot of wildlife protection while you’re at it? Find a beach clean and survey to take part in, or even organise your own. They’re a great idea for an activity all year round.

Alternatively, take part in the annual Great British Beach Clean and join thousands of people to make new friends, enjoy the fresh sea air and keep our beaches teeming with wildlife.

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Protect your home on wheels with motorhome insurance

Having your own transport and accommodation will make volunteering so much easier, especially if you spot an opportunity far from home. But in the excitement don’t leave home without ensuring you’ve got the right motorhome insurance policy for your needs.

Our bespoke cover can include benefits such as:

  • Unlimited cover for countries part of the EU
  • Cover for motorhomes valued up to £120,000
  • Cover for camping personal effects up to £3,500
  • Unlimited mileage cover
  • Discounts if you’re a member of a club
  • Consideration of all claims and convictions

Call Motorhome Protect and get a quote for motorhome insurance today.

Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.

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