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Don't have time to go and volunteer locally?  Looking for something worthwhile to do while staying at home? Looking to build transferable skills such as data analysis, helping others, or taking part in research?

Now you can volunteer from anywhere, and give as much or as little time as you want! Read below to find out how to Virtual Volunteer, whilst still making a difference around the world.  Please check that you are happy with any terms and conditions if you are asked to sign up in order to take part in any of the Virtual Volunteering below.


NHS Volunteer Responders

NHS Volunteer Responders has been set up to support the NHS during the COVID-19 outbreak. To do this the NHS needs an 'army' of volunteers who can support the 1.5m people in England who are at most risk from the virus to stay well. Their doctors, nurses and other professionals will be able to refer people in to NHS Volunteer Responders and be confident that they have been matched with a reliable, named volunteer.

Check-in and Chat volunteer: This role provides short-term telephone support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness as a consequence of self-isolation.



Volunteer Knitters Needed

Woolly Hugs is an online community making special blankets, and is run entirely on a voluntary basis. Its work helps babies, children and their families feel support, comfort and the sense of being loved and looked after.  Their ongoing projects are linked to the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow and the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle (comforting Little Hugs for babies and children and also Angel Teds for bereaved families in PICU) and the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, (Angel Hugs for babies lost and their bereaved families).  In addition they have projects such as blankets for children affected by Chernobyl and yarn bombing with Children’s Hospice South West.  They are affected by the stay at home guidance, but ongoing pfrojects are continuing.  If you are at home with fidgety fingers, take a look!  Also, to avoid our students incurring postage costs, you can drop your knitting off at SUBU when campus reopens and we can post it for you


Project Plumage

With approximately 10,000 living species, birds have evolved an extraordinary array of plumage (feather) colours. Beyond the colour we can see, we also know that the plumage of many bird species reflects light in the ultraviolet (UV) range. As birds themselves can see UV light, this has a big impact on our understanding of how birds see each other. The Natural History Museum wants to both measure and better understand how this colour diversity has come to be. Our team is photographing Museum specimens using special colour and UV filters. With your help we will be able to extract the colour information needed to answer key questions about bird colour evolution.  Please visit Project Plumage on the website.




Prince's Trust


Online Mentor

The Prince's Trust has an active online community of volunteers who use a flexible online platform to mentor young people and help them to get ahead in life.  They are looking for online volunteers to support a young person online who is looking for work or starting their own business, to empower mentees to take control of their learning and set their own goals.  You will need to be flexible in terms of the time you can provide, but will need to talk with your mentee on a weekly basis, offering vital feedback and encouragement.  You will get the necessary training to prepare you to take on a mentee, and an opportunity to make a real difference to a young person.  For full details, click here.




Project icon for Maturity of Baby Sounds


The Maturity of Baby Sounds

Did you know that, well before saying real words, children produce very different sounds with their mouths? Already at birth, they cry and cry. We all know these sounds! A little later, they also begin to babble - that is, produce sounds closer to those of adult speech. These are the ones that interest us the most.

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, in combination with others, needs your help to classify some very short recordings of babies’ speech sounds to help better understand the very first stages of language learning!

They ask you to label those very short clips as being one “type” of sound. Baby sounds include crying, babbling, and laughing. This is to see how children’ sounds change as they get older. You can listen to each clip as many times as you would like before making a decision.

Please go here for more information, and to take part if you would like. 




Sighted Volunteer

Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call.





Volunteer Chimp Observer

Chimp and See - The Pan African Programme: The Cultured Chimpanzee (PanAf), based out of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany aims to understand the ecological and evolutionary parameters that have contributed to the behavioral and cultural diversity in chimpanzees. For this project, they have collected nearly 7,000 hours of footage, reflecting various chimpanzee habitats, from camera traps in 15 countries across Africa. By scanning the videos from these traps and identifying the types of species and activity that you see, you’ll help them to understand the lives of these apes—their behaviours, relationships, and environments—and to extrapolate new ideas about human origins.




Pledge to help insects

Take Action for Insects 41% of insect species face extinction. Insects are dying out up to 8 times faster than larger animals says a new report showing the devasting and serious decline in insect populations happening right now across Britain. Join Action for Insects today and pledge to take practical, positive action in your own home and garden to help insects 



Spot a Herring

Run, Herring, Run!   Every year in the spring baby river herring make a long journey from freshwater ponds to the ocean. We are trying to understand when baby river herring head to sea and how many there are. Simply count the herring in each frame by marking all the ones you can see. Many will be blurry or oriented in a way that makes them not look like a fish. But there's little else that passes the camera, so go ahead and mark everything you see (unless it's clearly not a herring). See the tutorial for some tips, but it's pretty straightforward! Thanks for your help!



Measure a Giraffe

Help The Wild Nature Institute measure wild Masai giraffes for a study of growth and survival. They need your help to analyse the thousands of photos triggered as giraffes pass the cameras. In measuring the giraffes, so that you can help work out how the population is doing.


Put the Vulnerable on the Map

Each year, disasters around the world kill nearly 100,000 and affect or displace 200 million people. Many of the places where these disasters occur are literally 'missing' from any map and first responders lack the information to make valuable decisions regarding relief efforts. Missing Maps is an open, collaborative project in which you can help Put the World’s Vulnerable People on the Map  by mapping areas where humanitarian organisations are trying to meet the needs of vulnerable people.




Decipher Anti-Slavery Texts

We need your help to turn our collection of handwritten correspondence between anti-slavery activists in the 19th century into texts that can be more easily read and researched by students, teachers, historians, and big data applications.  Note: This project is not currently supported on mobile and tablet devices.



Track Floating Forests

Welcome to Floating Forests, where you can help us uncover the history of Giant Kelp forests around the globe. Most life on the seafloor can only be sampled by SCUBA divers or dredging up samples from the deep. This kind of data requires a ton of (really fun) effort to collect, but it means we’re limited to places we can get to! Given the worldwide distribution of kelp, we need your help to track it across time and space.



Campaign for Better Chicken

One billion chickens are slaughtered for meat in the UK each year and The RSPCA and other groups across Europe are urging food businesses to implement a new set of standards.  Get your supermarket to sign up to  - The Better chicken Commitment.  


Don’t forget to log any volunteering here and you can download a record of your hours and skills at any time.