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Now more than ever, during the COVID19 pandemic, our local community, charities and organisations need the support of volunteers. We are working hard to update this page with new virtual volunteer opportunitites that can be done from the comfort of your own home. It is important to remember that whilst you may be eager to return to normality and your volunteering, that you are following Government guidelines and staying safe.


Virtual volunteering also has many benefits beyond the COVID19 lockdown- If you normally don't have time to go and volunteer locally or are looking for something worthwhile to do whilst also building transferable skills such as data analysis, helping others, or taking part in research then virtual volunteering is definitely one for you!

You can give as much or as little time as you want! Read below to find out how to Virtually 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.

Earth Challenge 2020

What if your picture is worth more than a thousand words?

With Earth Challenge 2020, your photos of air, plastic and insects can help protect our planet. Simply submit your pictures through the Earth Challenge 2020 app and become part of the biggest citizen science project in the world.

Be empowered to make a difference on environmental issues of global significance. You can collect environmental data around the globe, helping scientists capture a huge pool of information on critical human and environmental health issues, including air quality, trash and plastic waste and pollinator populations.

The app features the insects widget, where you can take action to save bees from the safety of your own home. We’re looking for pictures of bees from around the world to help scientists track bee populations and monitor where they’re thriving and declining. Your data will be added to the global citizen science database mapping the health and safety of species.

Save the bees: Download the Earth Challenge 2020 app here and add your picture to others worldwide in supporting scientific research.


TED: Ideas worth spreading

TED Talk Translation

TED Translators are a global community of volunteers who subtitle TED Talks, and enable the inspiring ideas in them to crisscross languages and borders.TED Translators and transcribers help spread ideas to a global audience. Click here to find out how to get started.

The British Red Cross Society - JustGiving

Community Crisis Reserve Volunteer

British Red Cross Community Reserve Volunteers are a network of people ready to help in an emergency, supporting their community by sharing public health messages, connecting with others safely and helping provide basic supplies. 

When a major crisis hits, members of the public are often quick to offer their support. This help can be invaluable. By signing up to become a community reserve volunteer, the British Red Cross can harness people’s goodwill so in the event of an emergency you can help your community get back on track, in a way that’s both coordinated and effective.

Have a look at the opportunity as this may be particularly important right now as British Red Cross are working with the authorities to support the Covid-19 response in the best possible way.


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.

Mental Health Innovations | LinkedIn

Crisis Volunteer For Shout. The UK's 1st 24/7 Crisis Text Line

This is a completely new type of volunteering. We’re giving you the chance to have an impact on people’s lives and make a difference by resolving crises. Learn communication, problem solving and crisis management skills – recognised by employers, unis and colleges as essential skills. Enjoy being part of a pioneering team. Volunteer the way you want – at home in your p.j’s, in the office or with a group of friends. Access ongoing professional development with a dedicated Coach. Find out more here and to apply.


Homelessness in Manchester – Here's how to help this winter ...

Volunteer Charities Liaison Assistant

Volunteers will be responsible for liaising with a number of assigned national and local charities who work with homelessness and helping them to keep their details up to date on Volunteers will also help gather case studies from the organisations to be used to raise awareness of local projects and support available for the homeless community.Through filling out simple web forms, updating volunteer and donation requests and general details volunteers will help charities keep their details up to date. Volunteers will also be asked to gather stories from their organisations that can be used on the Street Support website to pass to the social media team. Volunteers will be expected to maintain regular contact with the organisations on a weekly or fortnightly basis. Find out more here.



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

Other Knitting Opportunities...

NHS Knitted Ear Savers- 

There’s been a surge in making homemade cloth masks for medical professionals and everyday people to wear to help slow the spread of the Corona Virus and protect workers who might not have other equipment to use, but the elastic on these and other masks can be really irritating to the backs of the ears when you need to wear a mask all day.

One option is to make masks with ties, but if you are making the elastic ear band ones you can also make ear savers, which is just a piece of fabric that can be sewn, knit or crocheted and placed on the back of the head. Buttons on each end hold the loops of elastic so they don’t have to rest on the ears. Take a look 



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!





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.