Thrive Outside Residential Holiday Volunteers

project: Free to Be Kids
  • Various, all within n hour of London
  • 10 - 30
See more volunteer opportunities from: London

About the opportunity

Children, Health & Wellbeing, Play, Sports & Outdoors, Volunteering, Young People

Come and do something amazing this summer! Could you spare a little time this summer to help us create an amazing experience for children who really need a break? This August, Free to Be Kids are running crucial respite breaks for over 100 of inner-city London's most disadvantaged kids and we're currently recruiting our team of volunteers. If you can spare a week or more this summer, read on to find out about crucial next steps - no previous experience of working with children is needed, although a sense of humour, appetite for adventure, and lots and lots of energy are essential! Just one week of your time could make a massive difference to a child who wouldn’t otherwise have access to leisure opportunities or safe spaces to play this summer. For many, caring and coping with problems is a full time business - some care for relatives, live in conditions of extreme over-crowding or instability and are dealing with the daily effects of poverty. Our breaks offer these children the opportunity to have fun, try new things, build their confidence and feel brave and adventurous. The holidays are packed with nature and animal focused activities like den building in the forest, kayaking down a river and helping to look after animals on the farm. What's transformational for our children though, is the relationships formed and experiences shared with warm, positive adults: playing hide and seek in the woods together, chatting about the day over hot chocolate and marshmallows or going to sleep to a bedtime story. These experiences stick in the children's minds for years afterwards and begin to help them see the world, and their place within it, in a new way - that's why we need you! Projects will run over the second half of August 2018. For further details, visit our website (, or check out our volunteering video on youtube, which gives a great flavour of what to expect: As a volunteer, all activities, food and accommodation for the week are free, the only cost is getting yourself to our project site an hour or two's train journey from London. Comprehensive training will be provided in advance of the project. The benefit to you: a real sense of accomplishment but also developing fantastic new skills and experiences for your CV. Many of our volunteers make new friendships which last for years. To volunteer: Please go to our website and complete our online application form to register your interest ASAP. If you have any questions, please do email us on [email protected]


All volunteers will need to attend and successfully complete our New Helper Training & Selection day, which will take place at Cody Dock in Newham, on 23rd June, from 9.45am-3pm. You will also need to complete a Free to Be DBS (Disclosure & Barring Services) check which we will help you to do at the training. In order to ensure consistent support for our children, you must be available to volunteer for the whole week and stay residentially. As well as general volunteers, we are particularly in need of people who can help us by: Driving our minibuses: To do so, you must be over the age of 25, have held your driving license for two years and have no more than 3 faults on your license. Comprehensive training is provided. Keeping our children fed: To do so, you'll need to be able to work in a physically demanding role and at a fast pace, overseeing the kitchen and working in a team to cater daily for the children and volunteers on the project. Ideally you'll have an interest in or experience of catering, but a full induction and food hygiene training will be provided.

Nothing special, just warm outdoor clothing and a sleeping bag. We'll talk more about this at the training day and send volunteers a kit list in advance of the project. We have spares of most things, if needed!

About the project

Free to Be Kids provides new experiences and respite for vulnerable children, though holidays, therapeutic adventures and afterschool activities. Our projects are designed to work for children who might otherwise struggle to find the confidence to be adventurous, who might be too anxious to reach out and make new friends, or who might usually deal with setbacks by becoming angry or upset. We work with schools, housing associations, social services and other organisations to reach some of London’s most disadvantaged children. We believe that every child deserves to experience joy and adventure within their childhood.

Many of the children we work with grow up feeling rejected, excluded or as if they are ‘failing’. Our work helps children to feel wanted, special, valued and successful, ultimately changing how they think and feel about themselves. We offer residential respite breaks, overnight adventures, after school groups and mentoring throughout the year and are always looking for new volunteers to join our team.

Free to Be is entirely volunteer run, with no paid staff, and benefits from several thousand hours of volunteer support each year. We believe volunteers bring unique qualities to our work – their individual passions, creativity and commitment - and that these qualities are, in large part, what makes our work so special. 


Wed 15 Aug 2018 to Sat 01 Sep 2018
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Volunteering impact


All of the children referred to work with us are dealing with a range of adversities and difficulties, such as poverty, housing instability or disrepair, family health issues, bereavements or other trauma. The impact of these adversities means that they are struggling in some ways to manage at school, home or with friendships. These projects are designed to provide a special holiday over the summer for children who really need some additional positive support in their lives and who don't have access to another break from home, or safe places to play. Through our projects, each child has the opportunity to try out a whole range of new activities and experiences and to be supported by warm, friendly, fun adults, who'll reflect back their successes, support them to try new things and help them feel proud and important. If you think you can do that, and have a great time yourself in the process, drop us a line! We guarantee you won't regret it!