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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

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Blog | 14 December 2023

10 ways to volunteer outdoors in 2024

Nicola Hilliard, Creative Content Producer

We can all make a difference to those around us while spending time outside. Here are our favourite 10 budget-friendly ways to volunteer throughout the year to get your outdoors.

It’s a new year, and we’re encouraging everyone to make more time for being outside.

But, what about making a change that’ll leave a lasting impact on the world around you beyond 2024? 

These activities are not only loads of fun, but also perfect for giving back and unleashing the local community superhero in you!

1. Host a DIY plant pot party:

Spruce up your community with potted plants! Decorate inexpensive plant pots or planters, then grow some bright, wildlife-friendly flowers.  You could distribute the plants to your neighbours and watch your community blossom. Take a look at our gardening activities for inspiration. You could even make and use upcycled planters or give out seeds.

2. Make a wildlife friendly space:

Create a haven for wildlife in your community. Host a day building animal homes, such as hedgehog homes, insect houses, bee hotels, bird boxes and bat houses. You could also make animal feeders, such as bird feeders and butterfly feeders, or plant wildlife-friendly flowers in local green spaces.

A Beaver in a yellow top and scarf focused on painting a birdhouse.

3. Picnic in the park:

Organise picnics on warmer days in local parks for those who may be in need or feeling lonely. Ask any who can to prepare simple, budget-friendly snacks or lunches to share. You could also plan some games and activities for those attending, or just offer a space to chat.

4. Create a community scavenger hunt:

Put together a nature scavenger hunt where local families and friends can explore the outdoors, while searching for hidden treasures. You could hide painted wooden fairy doors, hide letters on to spell out a word, or create a trail of laminate clues for people to follow and find.

5. Spread the love with seedballs:

Transform dull spaces by making seed balls using water, soil and wildflower seeds. Organise a session to throw these eco-friendly balls into areas with landowner’s permission, turning them into blooming meadows that bring colour to your community.

6. Make a beach toy library:

Give everyone the ultimate beach adventure by crafting a treasure chest of toys in a little beach library. Pack a waterproof box full of toys, such as buckets, spades, tennis balls and sand moulds, then create a sign so everyone knows they can be used. Remember to ask for them to be returned, so the seaside excitement can be shared again and again.

7. Stargaze for charity:

Be inspired by the beauty of the night sky and organise stargazing events. Invite astronomy enthusiasts to share their knowledge and charge a small fee, with all proceeds going to charitable causes.

8. Outdoor photography for conservation:

Organise photography events in scenic spots, showcasing the wonders of the outdoors. You can then sell prints or host exhibitions to fundraise for conservation efforts. 

9. Host a kayak cleanup:

Grab a paddle and go on a kayak cleanup to protect aquatic ecosystems, such as rivers, lakes or beaches, by collecting floating litter. Why not turn it into a competition to make it even more exciting? Take a look at our kayaking guidelines.

You should always wear gloves and use bin bags while collecting litter. You may want to tie litter bags to kayaks or paddles to stop them floating away. Always have landowner permission, have a safe place to recycle or dispose of litter, and wash hands and equipment afterwards.

10. Make a community mural masterpiece:

Unleash your artistic side by creating a community mural. Remember to get landowner permission, then transform a dull wall into vibrant expressions of community identity and pride. You could even use it to promote community heroes or even your local Scouts. 

Thank you!

Adventure awaits, and so do countless budget-friendly opportunities to make a difference in your local great outdoors.

Every small act of kindness counts and, together as Scouts, we can create ripples of change.

Remember, you don't need a lot to leave a lasting imprint; sometimes, all it takes is a bit of creativity and a whole lot of heart.

Staying safe

All activities must be safely managed.

You need to complete a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Take a look at our guidance to help you carry out your risk assessment, including examples. 

Always get approval for the activity, have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Remember to check the safety information for each activity, including what safety equipment and permits you’ll need.

Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely. 

Check out our safety guidance
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