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Bite-sized volunteering, what is it and why should you do it?


Whether you’ve got ten minutes or two hours on your hands, bite-sized volunteering offers hundreds of activities with positive and powerful benefits.

Have you found yourself gazing out of the window, counting the number of people who walk by, how many trees you can see, or maybe how many birds visit your garden? Well on that basis, the RSPB have created the Big Garden Birdwatch, which asks individuals to spend just one hour counting the number of birds in their garden. Once you have counted and submitted your findings, they will be added to hundreds of thousands of others which help to give wildlife conservationists a UK-wide picture of the bird population. This is a perfect example bite-sized volunteering!

The concept behind bite-sized volunteering – also called microvolunteering – is simple; people are more likely to volunteer their time in short and convenient chunks. It turns volunteering into community action by offering easy tasks that can be done whenever, wherever!

Tasks could be anything from signing a petition, to sending a letter to an isolated person, cleaning up a community garden, or contributing to important research. 

Ranging in time from 10 minutes to an afternoon, these are stand-alone tasks that do not require any long term commitment. What’s even better, is that they don’t require an application or training process, so you can get started straight away!

Bite-sized volunteering is particularly popular among younger people, who cram their days with a multitude of activities and might only have an hour during their lunch break spare. This can make a long term volunteering commitment unfeasible, yet, they still want to contribute to making the world a better place, even if in a small way. Because many small actions add up to a huge difference. 

One of the major advantages of bite-sized volunteering is that it enables people who might be excluded from traditional volunteering to participate. Health vulnerabilities, caring responsibilities, or being geographically isolated could prevent them from participating. But loads of bite-sized volunteering tasks can be done from the comfort and safety of your own home, at a time that is suitable for you. It also perfect for parents who may not be able to find childcare for a lengthy 

But does it make a difference? Yes!  Galaxy Zoo, which asks volunteers to study photographs of space, reports that 53 scientific papers have been published as a result of the work of hundreds of thousands of volunteers!

So what do you get out of counting birds in your garden? Aside from helping conserve British wildlife, there’s the benefit of mental stimulation and learning about new birds. For someone who may not be able to leave the house, this is only a win-win. And for people who can – it’s simply fun!  

Such tasks can help you to develop new skills – imagine volunteering from home *and* learning to identify birds, or build maps, or practicing language skills. It can also be surprisingly social, like this opportunity to help people who are visually impaired to with everyday tasks like checking the expiry date on foods. 

So what are you waiting for? Sign up to be one of the first to use our bite-sized volunteering app, that will link you with hundreds of tasks that are filtered according to your interests and available time. Do good, and have fun! 

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