What can I do?

What can I do?

In your voluntary service you can get involved in different work fields. Here you find an overview about those different fields. You will get to know which tasks may come up to you. With the testimonies of some former volunteers you may gain insight to the work in the specific area.

Are you passionate about serving children, young people or adults with disabilities?

Working with disabled people​

A voluntary service with disabled people very often takes place in a disabled home. Some of these homes function with shift work and external nursing staff, but there are homes in which staff and disabled people live and work together. In this case, it is more difficult to separate clearly work time from leisure time, but it is at the same time a very deep experience. A volunteer’s tasks are roughly the same in both forms of homes.
Furthermore, a volunteer could work in integrative nursery schools or schools, in family support, daily support, living groups, residential homes, sheltered workshops, etc.
Some have severe disabilities and e.g. cannot speak properly or only eat or breathe through medical instruments. This is why the caring and support is done in a very individual way.

  • At the beginning, it is often a new and sometimes difficult experience for volunteers to be confronted with the clients’ syndromes. But usually volunteers get adapted soon, are well integrated into the community and feel enriched by meeting and living with the disabled people.

Possible activities:
For you as a volunteer, there are various possibilities to get involved, e.g.:

  • supporting the occupants in their everyday life (shopping, cleaning, cooking, …)
  • leisure activities - own ideas and as helper (walks, making music, doing sports or going on trips, …)
  • caring tasks (washing or getting the occupants dressed, going to the toilet, changing nappies, giving them their meals, …)
  • supporting them in sheltered workshops (e.g. in the field of textile, craftwork, wood or metal)

These activities define the daily schedule in this field of work, which depends on the home’s meal times, on the occupants’ working times in their workshops, and on their leisure time. How exactly a day is structured and which tasks you carry out can be negotiated within the placement, and can be adapted to your own preferences.

Are you passionate about supporting elderly people?

Working with elderly and people in need of care

A voluntary service with the elderly and people in need of care very often takes place in old people’s homes. Furthermore, some projects include regular home visits. Volunteers work alongside trained professionals to ensure that residents are well cared for – both physically and emotionally. Elderly people are usually very grateful when someone takes time for them, and they feel they are not alone. This work could be physically exhausting, and volunteers sometimes need to get used to having such a close contact to the elderly people. But the clients are very grateful for such support and many volunteers feel that it is a personally rewarding working field.
(Evidently when working in this field you should be aware of the fact that you might be confronted with suffering, and with death. But it is also a very rewarding feeling to have supported people in the last phase of their lives and to have given some cheerful days to them.)

Possible activities:
For you as a volunteer, there are various possibilities to get involved, e.g.:

  • Leisure time activities:
  • offering activities for the occupants which make a nice change from the occupants‘ everyday life (handicrafts, games, singing together or day-trips)
  • being present, talk with the occupants, listen to them, or go for a walk
  • In an old people’s home it can also mean:
  • supporting the nurses in caring for the occupants (washing them, helping them to get dressed, supplying them with their meals)
  • taking part in and help with physiotherapy and ergo therapy sessions

You can decide which fields of work you would like to get involved in, depending on your own interests and capabilities. Volunteers will not be responsible for administering medicine or treatment.

Are you passionate about supporting local church ministries and community development projects?

Working in a church

There is a wide variety of church placements. They could be large and small in number, located in cities, towns and villages. Some orientate themselves to traditional services, other to contemporary services, or both. That is why the variety of tasks for a volunteer is also wide. As a volunteer in church, you get in contact with different kind of groups - children and young people, adults and elderly people.
Volunteers working in a church always need a lot of flexibility, because working time often depends on a lot of special dates and holidays.

Possible activities:

  • children’s and youth work (e.g. Sunday school, youth fellowship groups, supporting and organizing activities during school holidays, after-school clubs,..)
  • organizing leisure time activities for different kind of groups - music, art, sport,… (according to interests and skills of the volunteer)
  • local community work (e.g. bible study groups, other community groups, church’s community outreach projects such as café and homeless ministry)
  • offering pastoral care (e.g. visiting elderly members of the church in their homes, building relationships with new church members)
  • Administration duties (e.g. creating newsletters)

Are you passionate about supporting children and young people?

Working with children and young people

Volunteers working with children and young people always need a lot of empathy, patience, creativity and authority in dealing with discipline issues. The work is often exhausting, but is also very rewarding if the volunteer is open to get involved into it.
A voluntary service with children and young people can take place in different fields, for example: homes for children and youth, kindergartens, schools, day-care centers, youth centers, etc.
Children and youth in homes usually come from difficult family backgrounds, so working there can also mean dealing with discipline problems and family issues; but you will always be supported by your mentor and colleagues to work through each situation you face.

Possible activities:
Working with children or young people in the different fields is sometimes quite similar and sometimes there are specific additional tasks of work. All in all a volunteer takes care of the children and youngsters, supports them in daily routines, and has the possibility to offer sport, music or artistic activities.
In kindergarten:

  • supporting the kindergarten teachers while free play and other offers (e.g. playing with the children, doing handicrafts, singing, baking, going on trips)
  • planning activities according to own interests
  • In a home for children and youth:
  • supporting the daily schedule (from getting up in the morning to going to bed in the evening):
  • in the morning: helping to wake up children, washing them, preparing food, getting older children ready for school, playing with younger children in the morning
  • in the afternoon/on weekend: helping them with their homework, preparing lunch, offering leisure activities (sports, games, handicrafts, choirs, trips, etc.).
  • serving as contact person and taking care for the children and young people, but also representing borders and rules and helping the educators in creating a positive atmosphere in the home

Are you passionate about supporting guest houses or conference centers? ​

Working in a guesthouse

Guest houses and conference centers are places where usually several volunteers and the staff live and take care for groups that come to visit for some days or weeks. These are often social groups of children and young people, church groups with adults, international groups or business groups.
One important aspect of the voluntary service in a guest house is the community life. Volunteers are welcome to contribute their gifts and skills to the common life, e.g. through prayers, common leisure time activities or extraordinary activities within the group of staff.

Possible activities:

  • practical tasks: work in the kitchen, at the reception, in the field of maintenance or cleaning
  • serving as contact person for the different guests and groups (e.g. help them with any questions or problems)
  • taking responsibility for a certain area within the centre like a café or the computer network
  • supporting and organizing seminar sessions and leisure time activities like sports, music or religion
  • taking part in regular supervision sessions and trainings to reflect their personal development, their faith and the community life

Are you passionate about supporting vulnerable people, homeless persons og addicts?

Working in social projects / with vulnerable people or refugees

There is a wide variety of placements for working with social projects. In all af these projects there are people, who need help to change their circumstances, for example homeless people, people with drug and alcohol addiction and refugees. A voluntary service could also take place in a hospice or hospital.
Volunteers work alongside trained professionals to ensure that the persons in need are well cared for - both physically and emotionally. Some of these programmes have Christian faith as an important part in the recovery programme.

Possible activities:
Depending on client group there are various possibilities to get involved. e.g:

  • assist staff in administration duties
  • practical tasks working in a (soup)kitchen or café for these special groups
  • serving as contact person for the different groups (e.g. help them with any questions or problems, being present, talk with people, listen to them)
  • assist clients in learning and carrying out domestic duties (cleaning, cooking, gardening, etc.)
  • assist clients to find employment, social benefits or accommodation for themselves
  • supporting and organising seminar sessions and leisure time activities like sports, music or religion