What is Volunteering?

Volunteering is an opportunity to get involved. This could be with your local community or even overseas! It’s an opportunity to meet new people, make lifelong friends and have fun. It’s about helping others and giving back but that doesn’t mean you won’t get anything in return.

As a young person, you have a change to claim a Millennium Volunteers  certifiacte for the hours that you volunteer. You can do this through logging your hours and contacting your local Youth Volunteering Advisor.

So, you want to log your hours on the GwirVol website and claim Millennium Volunteers (MV) certificates. How do you know if what you are doing is volunteering? Search online and you will find a hundred definitions ... here is what we at GwirVol think and what we recognise as part of the MV programme ...

First, some principles ...

- Volunteering is not paid. Sounds simple- However you can still claim expenses. i.e. Your bus fare to your placement might be paid for or you might be given lunch where you are volunteering but otherwise, you are not paid.

- There is a ‘community benefit’ – Try to remember these words when you are asking yourself if what you are doing counts as volunteering. ‘Community benefit’ refers to others who benefit from the volunteering you are doing. It should be you, it should be the organisation that you work for, but it should also be the wider community (not just relatives) or the environment. That is one reason why volunteering tends to take place in charitable organisations.

- You gain some kind of ‘personal development’ – this is not just doing routine things every day, you are learning from what you are doing and finding out new skills.

- It cannot be compulsory. Volunteering cannot be something that you have to do, you do it willingly

Click on this link to see a few more examples of what is considered and what isn't considered as Volunteering. 


If you are not sure if what you are doing is volunteering then drop us a line at gwirvol@wcva.org.uk and we can tell you whether it counts as volunteering ... for us. We know other people may have other definitions, but for GwirVol and Millennium Volunteers awards, this is our definition :)

Good luck with volunteering! You can find lots of opportunities at www.volunteering-wales.net too!




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Search opportunities

Find a volunteering opportunity near you and register your interest. Go on, what are you waiting for? If you don’t try it you won’t know what you’re missing!

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