Volunteering is a great way for students to improve their English. It gives them an opportunity to practice their English outside of the classroom and helps them meet other people. It also offers them a chance to experience the English language and culture up close with real people and real-life everyday situations. With a volunteer programme you are able to see a deeper, more authentic side to the country, culture and language, “giving back to the communities not only brings you closer to the people but also closer to the language”.
There are lots of different volunteering opportunities in London. Our students have volunteered as carers, hospitality workers, interpreters, even dog walkers! The most popular volunteering job, however, is a charity shop assistant. There are lots of charity shops in Chiswick, such as OXFAM, FARA, Cancer Research UK, etc. All of them rely on the help of people who are willing to give up their free time to help others. They ask for as little, or as much help as you can offer. Perfect for fitting round your language course. If charity shop work, is something you might be interested in, visit one of the nearby shops in person. One of the team members will have a quick chat with you and get you to fill out a short application form. They might want to contact the school for a reference. Once all the paperwork is done, you can start almost immediately.
Another good way for foreign language students to volunteer, is to see if any of their neighbours need any help. You might have an elderly English-speaking neighbour who is unable to drive to the supermarket or to various medical appointments. You can offer to take them food-shopping or accompany them to the doctor. Students who don’t have elderly neighbours, but who belong to a local church, temple or mosque can speak to their religious leader to see, if there is someone in their local community who needs a little extra help. For more info on volunteering opportunities in London, visit https://volunteerteam.london.gov.uk