Whether you’re retired or are looking for a route into a new job or career, volunteer work is a great option for older workers in the UK.

Why is Volunteering Beneficial for Older Workers?

A number of charities and public organisations embrace volunteering from older workers. These organisations understand the wealth of benefits involved in including older workers in their projects.

If you are an older worker that is out of work, it can make a world of difference to be part of a project that is socially positive and will remind you of the impact you can have on others. Here are just some of the reasons why tens of thousands of older people across the UK get involved in volunteering every year:

1. Help to Find New Work

If you’re out of work but have not yet retired, volunteering could be the right step for you. With the UK economy changing faster than ever, it’s important to refresh your skills and stay up-to-date with industry trends. There might be some transferable skills you can pick up quickly and easily from a volunteering role that will massively increase your chances of accessing a new job.

For instance, a lot of volunteer work involves cashier work and handling money. This would open up a wealth of opportunities in the retail sector. Furthermore, many volunteers work as assistants when organising community projects or events. These skills can open up opportunities in management roles such as project management or event planning.

2. Make Connections

Volunteering will help put you in touch with like-minded individuals in your community of all ages. In today’s world, it’s not always about what you know but rather, who you know. Creating a network of contacts from a variety of backgrounds can really work in favour when looking for employment. At the same time, you’ll also be helping your community.

3. Give Back to Your Community

Volunteer work is often offered by charities in your local community. These charities cannot afford to hire people to carry out the tasks needed by the target group. So. this is a great option for you to aid in your community. It doesn’t require you to have excess income to give away, only spare time.

Volunteering Organisations in the UK

To make things easier for you to get involved in volunteer work for older workers, here are some of the best volunteering organisations in the UK:


VolunteeringMatters is a leading organisation providing volunteer work across the UK. They bring people together to overcome some of society’s most complex issues through the power of volunteering. They currently have over 10,000 volunteers over the age of 50 helping in a wide range of capacities.

For more information and to apply for volunteer work, visit the VolunteeringMatters website.

Age UK

Age UK helps a host of older people across the UK. It offers volunteer work to anyone who wants to do the same. Oftentimes, volunteer roles with Age UK include meeting and talking to elderly people who feel lonely or isolated, either by phone or in person.

Head over to Age UK’s website for further information and to sign up for volunteer work.

Examples of Volunteer Roles

Below you’ll find some of the most common volunteer roles for anyone looking for volunteer work:


Often, organisations need someone with experience who knows how to get a project off the ground, particularly in organising other volunteers. This is the perfect role for anyone with experience in event planning or project management.

IT Support

Getting to know new technology, computers, smartphones, and the internet can be overwhelming for the older generation. With so much innovation at such a fast pace, it’s important to have someone who can explain things in a way that can be understood. So, if you’re an older worker with knowledge of or experience in information systems or technology, you can be a huge help.


Especially in today’s world, people can easily become isolated. A volunteer befriender will take part in a range of activities to help people feel less alone. This is often done over the phone or in person but can sometimes include fun activities such as sports, board games, or other group activities.


There are many disadvantaged and vulnerable people of all ages in the UK who need help and guidance. Mentors use their knowledge and life experience to help those in need and provide them with a fresh perspective. This type of role is common with teachers, parents and grandparents, or anyone who has been an educator or guardian.

Key Takeaways: Volunteer Work

There are a whole host of benefits to volunteer work for older workers. Not only will you be giving back to your community in a positive way, but you’ll also improve your chances of finding employment by gaining new skills and work experience.

Refreshing a Career has lots of support and resources for older workers including job application tips, CV writing tips and popular career routes for older workers. Check out our jobs board for older workers for all the latest opportunities in your area.

Feel free to contact our team if you have any questions. And stay up to date with all the latest from Refreshing a Career by signing up for our newsletter using the form at the bottom of this page.