8 Volunteer Opportunities to Try in London


If you are planning on staying at The Chilworth longer term and would like to get more involved in the community spirit of London, why not consider some voluntary work?


Whether you are passionate about animals, children, the environment or helping disadvantaged people there are so many charities in London who rely on their volunteers so you will be able to find your calling. Even if a charity prefers longer-term volunteers it might be worth contacting them to see on the off-chance that they might let you help with a one-off event. 


If you are only in London for a brief visit such as a weekend, you can always opt to ‘volun-cheer’ at a major fund-raising event. You can search for dates that coincide with your planned trip to London and add on a reservation for the Chilworth London afternoon tea at the same time.


Use our suggestions to get started on the many opportunities that await you in London, this list of eight is only the beginning. 


1) London Marathon

This annual 26 mile run through central London takes place every April and there are always plenty of volunteer opportunities at this world-famous event. If you have a charity which resonates with you on a personal note, you can sign up to be a volun-cheer at next year’s event and spend the day spurring on participants and handing out the essential bottles of water. Be sure to book ahead and make a date with the Chilworth Paddington spa after all your hard work.


2) The Trussell Trust

The Trussell Trust is the brains behind the food banks which strive to put food on the tables of the 14 million people living in poverty in the UK. The charity works by collecting food donations via businesses, schools and churches which is then sorted and stored for those who need it. The Trust have ample volunteer roles across their warehouses and food bank centres. 


3) Great Ormond Street Hospital

The children’s hospital has plenty of volunteering opportunities for those who want to spend time helping sick children. Volunteers are welcome to come into the wards and provide entertainment for the children. You can dress up as a superhero or cartoon character, read to them, paint their faces, play group games or lead activity workshops with them. They also take on ‘buddies’ who are tasked with befriending the children and helping them avoid boredom and loneliness. The hospital also calls in for volunteers to help support with major fundraising events such as the London Marathon. They do not impose a minimum number of hours for volunteers to work at such events, so guests of The Chilworth in Paddington are welcome to donate a few hours then make it back in time to enjoy afternoon tea at the hotel.


4) Cancer Research UK Race for Life

Cancer Research organises over 400 5k, 10k or Pretty Muddy runs as part of their Race for Life campaign and they always need volunteers. Roles vary from administration and helping participants and spectators with any queries they might have to support with logistics of the race and ensuring the event runs smoothly. If you’re particularly cheery, you can volunteer as a Course Marshal Volunteer to inspire and motivate the runners. This is a perfect opportunity for those coming to London for a short visit as you can apply for the date that works for you and search for afternoon tea London offers to coincide with your volunteering!


5) Dress for Success

Dress for Success is a registered charity that supports women from positions of disadvantage by providing professional clothing and styling women for job interviews. They also provide an interview coaching service and continue ongoing support once the women re-join the workplace. 67% of their clients go on to secure employment. Dress for Success relies on volunteers to help prepare the women by supporting with the styling and holding mock interviews. They also take on volunteers to support at events and work as ambassadors for the charity. 



The RSPCA has a huge variety of volunteering opportunities which are perfect for animal lovers. At their centres, they need animal carers who will take care of the cats and walk the dogs and be a general helper in the centres. As this role comes with training, the RSPCA ask that animal care volunteers commit to regular sessions. You can also volunteer as an administrator or use your computer or photography skills to help the RSPCA find new homes for the animals. They also need reliable drivers to transport the animals in their care as well as people to work in their charity shops and fundraise from the streets. Depending on how long you plan to stay at The Chilworth, have a chat and see what you can do.


7) Nomad Cinema

The Nomad Cinema is a pop-up cinema in London which donates 100% of its profits to South African charity, the Sustainability Institute, which means they rely heavily on the support of a voluntary workforce. The work of the charity is focused on building sustainable living and supporting local families through a learning centre in rural Stellenbosch. Volunteer duties include ushering, set-dressing, box office duties, meet and greet, selling merchandise, patrolling the grounds, flyering, and generally helping the team create a wonderful atmosphere for guests. This is a sociable volunteering opportunity – you might want to book one of the special afternoon tea offers to get to know your fellow volunteers! 


8) Green Gym

Green Gym is an initiative whereby volunteers are guided in practical, eco-activities such as planting trees, sowing meadows and establishing wildlife ponds – with an emphasis on the health of the volunteer workforce. Volunteers will warm up and cool down in preparation for a range of these light to vigorous activities so you can work your muscles whilst doing something for the greater good. You’ll need a massage at the Chilworth Paddington spa after this one.