Becoming a volunteer in advocacy means taking on a role in supporting disadvantaged and marginalised individuals or communities. If you’re passionate about the rights and needs of others and want to give people a voice, then this could be the role for you.

By becoming a voluntary advocate, you’ll represent the interests of people whose vulnerability prevents them from speaking up for themselves. You’ll also offer emotional support and direct people to the correct legal authorities.

The only field that often requires some form of professional background is law advocacy. There’s no need to have a professional background in social care or any other field, as training is usually provided. The level of commitment varies by role and often depends on the needs of the client.

Types of advocacy

legal volunteering

Legal Volunteering

There are plenty of volunteering opportunities available in law advocacy. Law Advocates and related roles provide legal and emotional support and advice to individuals and their families.

There are a number of roles including Volunteer Advocate, Volunteer Legal Advisor, and Volunteer Lawyer. This is a fantastic opportunity to help individuals who can’t afford legal representation or are feeling lost and vulnerable during legal proceedings.

Charities such as The National Pro Bono Centre offer free legal services to those in need and have a long list of voluntary vacancies.

Community Advocacy

Community Advocacy

A community advocate speaks up on behalf of people in their community with health conditions or disabilities who are struggling to be heard and/or are unsure of their rights.

Community advocacy covers a range of topics from workplace disputes to housing issues or benefit claims. The role aims to support people one-on-one in such a way that their daily life becomes easier.

Many health and disability related charities (such as mental health charity, Mind) advertise for volunteer advocates. There are also charities and organisations set up that deal specifically with advocacy volunteers such as POhWER, who are usually recruiting.

Advocacy Groups

Advocacy for Specific Groups

You can also volunteer for minority groups in society, including ethnic groups and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

Individuals from these minorities will often come together to make their voices louder, with the additional support of an advocate who will provide information and advice about their rights in situations where they have faced discrimination.

This is usually a local opportunity depending on the specific groups in your area.

Where can I volunteer?

For more volunteering opportunities, head over to our volunteering homepage, where you can search for roles near you.

Why volunteer later in life?

More and more people are finding satisfaction in Volunteering. Find out why you should become a volunteer and the benefits it can bring.

Find your purpose

Volunteer for a charity and you will be joining a mission to make the world a better place. Find a cause that inspires you and get started.

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