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Volunteering

Page Editor: Fra Cooke

Page last Reviewed: 3 Oct 2014

This is a listing of volunteering opportunities in the local area. If you have an opportunity you would like us to add, please email the editors at patterdaletoday@googlemail.com

Age UK Carlisle & Eden

Age UK Carlisle & Eden are looking for additional volunteers to join their existing team of 500 volunteers who currently serve the local community.There are opportunities in a whole range of services - day care service, befriending service, home day care, lunch clubs, mini buses requiring drivers and passenger assistants, assisted shopping trips, administration, walking for health, cancer support services and homeshare. Time commitment varies from one off events to monthly, weekly or even daily tasks. To learn more, click here to visit the Age UK Carlisle & Eden website, or phone 01228536673 or 01768354918.

Alzheimer's Society

The Eden and Keswick Branch of the Alzheimer's society is based in Penrith and covers a huge area from Shap to Keswick, including all the valleys. It is a charity which is growing daily and is much needed. Most people know someone who has been touched by dementia. We have plenty of volunteering opportunities apart from the usual tin rattling. There are things to be done in the office, tasks in the various groups involving clients and their carers , organising 'events', and any 'one off' fundraising events such as coffee mornings etc. We would welcome anyone who would like to become a volunteer for anything from one hour a year upto two to three hours a week. Click here to go to the Alzheimer's Society web page and learn more.

Balsam Bashing

Himalayan Balsam is a present nuisance in the Ullswater valley and in recent years volunteers from a number of agencies, working in co-operation with the Lake District National Park Authority, have had some success in dealing with the problem. 2007 saw probably the first decline in the spread of the weed in and around Glenridding. Over the past five years  the efforts have been effective and the weed is now much reduced in extent. For more information click here


Boon Day

Every five weeks of so a group of helpers, church-goers and non church-goers, meet in St Patrick's church yard at Patterdale, to spend a couple of hours tidying it up. We call these sessions "Boon Days" and they are open to anyone wishing to come along and join us. They are actually good fun and there is satisfaction in seeing the result of two hours collaborative effort. If you would like to try a Boon Day just turn up on the day or give Richard Theobald a ring on 01768482379 and he will  answer any queries you may have. Give it a try?

Calvert Trust

Founded in 1978, Calvert Trust is the inspiration of John Fryer-Spedding, whose vision was to enable people with disabilities to benefit from outdoor activities in the countryside. The Lake District Calvert Trust is a residential outdoor centre on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake with over 35 years’ experience delivering challenging outdoor adventure holidays for people with disabilities.Volunteers are vital to the work of the Calvert Trust and there are many ways to get involved. Click here to go to the Calvert Trust volunteering webpage.

Community First Responders

Opportunity to join the Glenridding and Patterdale First Responders, local volunteers trained by North West Ambulance Service to respond to certain 999 calls and provide First Aid till paramedics arrive and take over - click here for more information about NWAS Community First Responders, click here to learn more about the Glenridding and Patterdale group or ring Paul Neate (Team Leader) on 01768482284.


Cumbria CVS

Cumbria Council for Voluntary Service - Cumbria CVS -  help individuals by promoting and supporting volunteering, advising people on the types of voluntary work available, placing people into voluntary work and helping organisations provide the best voluntary placements possible by sharing good practice with them. Click here to access the volunteering section of their website.

Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service

Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service is looking for Volunteers to join its expanding team to get out and about in the community and help spread community fire safety messages.   As a Volunteer you’ll be able to get involved in all sorts of different activities within your community such as:
Assisting in the carrying out home fire safety visits;
Helping at community days and events;
Getting involved with campaigns and speaking to local residents about community and road safety issues;
Assisting with youth engagement events;
Supporting us in the delivery of HeartStart Basic Life Skills Training;
Raising awareness of the Fire Service at community events with our Firefit activities (climbing wall and soccer cage).
Community Volunteers are given training, a uniform and are paid any out of pocket expenses.  For more information about becoming a Volunteer with Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service please telephone 01768 812500, e-mail volunteers@cumbriafire.gov.uk or click here to visit their website .

Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Cumbria Wildlife Trust is the only voluntary organisation devoted solely to the conservation of the wildlife and wildplaces of Cumbria. Formed in 1962 and supported by over 15,000 members, the Trust cares for over 40 nature reserves, campaigns for the protection of endangered habitats and species such as limestone pavements and red squirrels, and works with adults and children to discover the importance of the natural world. Cumbria Wildlife Trust is part of a partnership of 47 local Wildlife Trusts across the UK. With 670,000 members and 2,200 nature reserves, it is the largest UK voluntary organisation dedicated to conserving the full range of the UK’s habitats and species.

The Cumbria Wildlife Trust are always looking for volunteers - click here for current opportunities.


Cumbria Youth Offending Service Referral Panel Membership

This is an opportunity to get involved and contribute towards crime reduction. Around 30% of young people who appear at court charged with an offence receive a Referral Order of between 3 and 12 months. Panel members direct the way forward for the young person who has admitted the offence. To learn more,  contact Amy Madge (Volunteer Development Coordinator) at the Cumbria Youth Offending Service  on 01228544140 or email Amy at amym@cadas.co.uk .

East Cumbria Family Support Association

East Cumbria Family Support provides help for families who at that time need extra support, helping to enhance the quality of family life and minimise the risk of family breakdown.They would like to hear from potential volunteers who have an interest in the wellbeing of families and have a couple of hours a week to spare. Could you help out with children, provide a parenting role model, help families attend important appointments, or offer a listening ear to a family having a difficult time? If you'd like to know more, please contact Sarah Craig at East Cumbria Family Support on 01768862917.

Eden Carers

Eden Carers exists to provide information, support and a point of reference for Carers of any age who provide substantial and regular care on an unpaid basis.This can be for a family member or friend who cannot manage at home without some help.Eden Carers have a whole range of volunteer opportunities - to learn more, click here to visit their website.

EdenSave Credit Union 

EdenSave Credit Union is the new local credit union for the Eden district of Cumbria. It is a not-for-profit organisation, owned and run by its members. It is staffed by volunteers, supported by a part-time paid manager. It offers a whole range of volunteering opportunities in a variety of roles - front desk in the premises in Devonshire arcade, teamwork with others on marketing and business development and partnering with other local organisations.To learn more about EdenSave Credit Union , click here to go to their website.


Eden Rivers Trust

Eden Rivers Trust are seeking volunteers. "We are always on the look out for volunteers to help us with our work.  It’s a great opportunity to enjoy the local countryside and do your bit for the environment!"  To learn more, click here to visit their website. To get in touch with Eden Rivers Trust, email them at office@edenriverstrust.org.uk or ring  01768 866788.

Fix the Fells

"Fix the Fells" are a team of skilled rangers and volunteers who repair and maintain the mountain paths in the Lake District with funding from donations and partners. A combination of millions of pairs of walking boots, the weather and gradient means erosion is a constant problem. Our path work reduces erosion scars and also helps protect the ecology and archaeological heritage of our beautiful landscape. Click here to learn more about volunteering opportunities with Fix the Fells.

Friends of the Lake District

Friends of the Lake District offer numerous volunteering opportunities, ranging from joining a workparty to helping out in the office. Click here to go to the volunteering page on their website,

Independent Custody Visitors

Custody Visitors are volunteers who make weekly unannounced visits to all Cumbria Police's designated custody facilities. Custody visiting is a national scheme  and is a vital service to provide reassurance to the public that people who are arrested and detained in custody are afforded their legal rights and treated appropriately whilst in the cells. Cumbria has four dedicated panels of visitors who visit every week of the year in pairs at all times of day and night.   They report on both the welfare of detainees and conditions within the Police Station and help to ensure that both Police and the public can have the highest confidence in the safety and welfare of those who are detained. Click here to go to the Police and Crime Commissioner's website and learn more.

Lake District National Park Volunteers Service

The Lake District Volunteers Service offers a  range of opportunities with the Lake District National Park Authority and some of its partner organisations. Many volunteers call it 'giving something back'. They give their time, skills and energy looking after this unique place and helping visitors enjoy its special qualities. By getting involved you'll meet new people, learn new skills and discover different parts of the National Park. To learn more and find out about current opportunities, click here . 

Lakeland Arts 

Volunteers are an essential part of the Lakeland Arts operation at Abbot Hall, Blackwell and the Windermere Steamboat Museum. Click here to go to the Lakeland Arts website and learn about the range of volunteering opportunities.

National Trust Volunteer

The National Trust relies heavily on its team of volunteers. There are literally hundreds of rewarding ways to become involved as a volunteer: from working with a warden on high fells, lowland estates, gardens, coast or countryside.

Alternatively, you could assist house staff in caring for historic buildings and collections, archiving or developing learning opportunities for local communities and visiting schools. Alternatively, how about research, or working with Trust staff at one of the Trust's Regional Offices.

To learn more and find out about current opportunities, click here.


Patterdale Health Walks (PHeW!)

Patterdale Health Walks (PHeW!) is an open and independent voluntary walking group. We meet every Tuesday at 2 p.m. either at the Patterdale School (CDC) or the Glenridding Public Hall - click here to learn more.

Police Support Volunteers scheme

Cumbria Constabulary have launched a scheme that calls for volunteers from the local community to carry out brand new roles that will support policing across the county. The scheme asks for members of the public to put themselves forward for brand new volunteer roles that have been created across Cumbria Constabulary to support police staff members and police officers.  More details about the roles and how to apply are available on the Constabulary website  - click here to learn more.

Theatre by The Lake, Keswick

The first person a visitor to Theatre by the Lake is likely to see is one of our volunteers who take on a variety of roles before, during and after performances. They are the smiling, welcoming faces of Theatre by the Lake. Click here to learn more about volunteering opportunities and how to apply.

YHA Patterdale Volunteering Opportunity

The YHA is a charity which strives to work with young people from all backgrounds, as well as providing accommodation to the many visitors who come to the Lake District. YHA Patterdale has  a volunteering opportunity for a small group of people who would like to transform the grounds into a nature trail/ wetland walking area, education aid for water studies etc. In return we can offer the use of the site as a venue for a daytime meeting place for local groups, a place for an annual thank you meal for work and time given to the site. For more information contact Sue Edwards , Volunteer Coordinator , YHA NW . Sue's email is  lakes@yha.org.uk .


YHA Volunteering Opportunities

The YHA offers a range of volunteering opportunities in the Lake District and beyond."Volunteering with YHA is a fantastic way to have fun, learn new skills, meet new people, boost your CV and give something back.  We can offer help with travel expenses, discounted meals and even free stays for volunteers taking part in residential opportunities." Click here to go to the YHA volunteering page.


Zooniverse - Harnessing Global Computing Power and the Human Brain

This is volunteering with a difference. Zooniverse is a portal to a wide range of important research projects around the world that anyone with a computer can get involved with. There are projects relating to Space, Climate, Humanities, Nature and Biology. The underlying concept of Zooniverse is to make use of the tremendous computing power sitting on desktops and the human brains unique analytical skills, to tackle projects that were too big for a traditional research group. Some of the interesting projects you can work on at present for example are: extracting key information from the 1.5 million pages of First World War Diaries, analysing real life cancer data, exploring the surface of the moon and a new project about to be launched is a search for Near Earth Objects (asteroids) that could be a threat to Earth. Click Here for more details

Cumbria County Council Information on Volunteering

Cumbria County Council has lots of information on volunteering opportunities in Cumbria. You can enter your postcode on their website to see current opportunities in your local area. To access the relevant page of the Cumbria County Council website, click here

Government Guide to Volunteering

There is a Government online guide to Volunteering with lots of info on volunteering opportunities and how to access them. To go to the Government guide, click here.