Should young people be getting volunteering advice rather than careers advice?

A challenging article here from George Monbiot about the power and benefit of volunteering, especially for younger people emerging into the world of work. In a changing world of different types of work and careers, the gig economy, zero hour contracts, robotics, artificial intelligence and so much more, he has “an outrageous proposal: replace careers advice with volunteering advice”. He goes onto say “while there is little chance of finding jobs that match students’ hopes and personalities and engage their capabilities, there is every chance of connecting them with good opportunities to volunteer”.

Have a read of his article to see what you think, but at VANEL we’re continually focusing on the value of volunteering and the ways it can be made a better experience and more valuable for everyone.

The article focuses a lot on younger people – as does our IGNITE youth leadership programme. We know first hand how these volunteering experiences change lives for younger people.

We’ve been training individuals through the Lincolnshire Volunteer Card programme, we’ve got experienced retired professionals re-applying their skills through our Blue Lights Programme and we’re working with lots of organisations to help them connect people into their volunteering opportunities through our Volunteer Development Service. Our Supporting Volunteers Award is another way we are ensuring the quality of volunteering can be the best possible for everyone.

Every year VANEL engages with hundreds of volunteers and hosting organisations. If you need a conversation about volunteering – either as an individual or as a group – then get in touch. VANEL doesn’t need to be convinced of the value of volunteering, we’re sold on the idea already!

Contact Liz ( or Jacky ( or phone 01472 231123 to talk about volunteering, or contact the IGNITE team via