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Volunteering brings enormous benefits and enjoyment, not only to beneficiaries, but to communities and to volunteers themselves.

Volunteering is an opportunity to connect with others, make new friends and give something back to the community. It can:

  • improve physical and mental health
  • reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation
  • support the development of employability and life skills
  • and empower communities

No matter what your interests are or why you want to volunteer, there is an opportunity for everyone.

Volunteering opportunities

Find out what volunteering opportunities we have within Vibrant Communities.

Download our Volunteering Handbook (PDF 900Kb) for further information and advice.

Youth volunteering

Youth volunteering offers children and young people the opportunity to help their local community through a range of activities. Young people who are eager to be instrumental in making positive changes to the world around them should be encouraged to do so.

If your organisation is thinking of offering opportunities for young people, visit youth volunteering for more information.

Volunteer Centre East Ayrshire

Volunteer Centre East Ayrshire can provide information for voluntary groups who are looking for volunteers, or if you are an individual who wishes to volunteer.

Services provided include:

  • access to local and national database of volunteering opportunities
  • drop-in centre in Kilmarnock town centre and Cumnock for people wishing to volunteer
  • advice and training sessions on the disclosure system for individuals and groups
  • hints and tips on recruiting and retaining volunteers

A list of volunteering opportunities is available at Volunteer Scotland.

If you are interested in volunteering within the East Ayrshire area please phone 01563 544765 or email for further information.

East Ayrshire Council of Voluntary Organisations

East Ayrshire Council of Voluntary Organisations (CVOEA) can provide information for voluntary groups in East Ayrshire or for individuals who wish to volunteer. The services provided include:

  • assistance with funding applications
  • assistance with development of constitutions
  • access to trust fund information and fund finder
  • access to typing services and photocopying facilities
  • training for management committee and volunteers

40 years of Volunteers' Week 2024 video


Are you caring, reliable and flexible? Can you spare a few hours each week?

In return you will gain:

  • comprehensive training
  • ongoing support
  • out of pocket expenses
  • the satisfaction of making a difference to a young life

Young people

We offer a befriending for children and young people age 5-18 years old. Befrienders are volunteers who support befriendees to take part in positive social and recreational activities.

The outings include aspects of building trust, working towards intended outcomes and building confidence in the children and young people.

Older people

Here in East Ayrshire there’s no excuse for our older people to be left alone or lonely and we all have a role to play in preventing this. There’s lots that you can do to help:

  • if you have an elderly relative, friend or neighbour – maybe someone who recently lost a spouse or partner – check in on them now and then and spend some time chatting, you’ll enjoy it
  • if you’re worried about an older person you know needing a bit of help because they are lonely – why not refer them for a befriender!
  • if you have an hour or two to spare every week or every month why not become a befriender for an older person – you can be any age our youngest befriender is 33 and our oldest is 73

For further information visit the Befriending Networks website.

Benefits of befriending

Keiran talks about how befriending has helped him in the following audio recording:

Listen: Keiran and Karen Connor from East Ayrshire Council
Download audio

Audio transcript

Keiran: I was a bit shy and I wasn't really communicating with people. It's made me brighter and boosted my confidence, because he's taken me places I haven't been before.

It's made me enjoy myself. It's given me someone to talk to if I have problems. I have some anger problems and when I get angry, he helps me with them and tells me how to calm down.

With my mums illness, agoraphobia and panic attacks she wouldn't be able to take me out so Karen sorted out befriending and then this person comes along and takes me out places my mum wouldn't be able to go. 

Karen: It's really fantastic and rewarding to see the difference that children and young people go through.

When they first come to the service they are usually very shy and don't have much confidence or self esteem and it's so lovely to see them grow and blossom.

For people who are listening out there that think this is something they would like to do to help a child or young person, i'd say give me a wee shout and we can have an informal chat. 

We're always looking for volunteer befrienders because it is such a fantastic service and it really makes a difference.

I think it's really good to highlight the work that's going on that people are doing in the community because these people are giving up their time, they're doing it for no financial reward they're doing it for the satisfaction that it brings them.

For us to get a chance to say thank you, it's a joy to do. 

Read quotes about the benefits of befriending:

It’s a very worthwhile service - giving children the opportunity to be friends and confident with someone outside the immediate family. Jemma has grown in confidence since being involved in the service.

I think it is a very worthwhile service and makes a big difference to the children using it.”



Befriending is good – you get to go out places and it helps to keep me out of trouble.

My befriender helps me to chill out and do well at school. The trampoline park was my favourite.

I’m happy that I am going to the club now.”

John, aged 11


I enjoyed watching my befriendee grow in confidence and self-worth."


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