Schools Volunteer

RSVP West (Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme)

Name: Schools Volunteer
Organisation: RSVP West (Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme)
Location: The CREATE Centre, Smeaton Road, Bristol, BS1 6XN
Type: Part Time
Most volunteers attend for an hour or two aweek but others discuss their availability with the school. Don’t be put off by the prospect of it being too time consuming.


You can choose what sort of help you would like to give depending on your interests and the needs of the school.

In primary schools the most common support is helping individual children with their reading. Listening to pupils read is time consuming for class teachers but they recognise its importance and welcome the involvement of other adults. You may be asked to help children who are taking their first steps in reading or to support others who need extra practice. Some pupils get little encouragement at home, or English is not their first language, or they have difficulty concentrating. You can give them the guidance they need and the confidence to succeed. In doing so you will be making a wider contribution to improving child literacy and enabling pupils to acquire useful social skills.

Some volunteers in primary and secondary schools assist teachers with developing pupils’ skills with numbers. Again, this needs concentrated individual attention for those who are struggling – attention that is often hard to provide in busy classrooms.

There are opportunities to help with modern foreign languages, arts and crafts, computing, music and drama,games or science either as part of the curriculum or in school clubs. You could also assist children with outdoor projects such as cultivating the school garden and understanding the environment.

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Organisation Description

RSVP West is a region of RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme, part of the national volunteering charity Volunteering Matters). Our area includes Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bath & North East Somerset".

The region is financially independent and supported by a registered charity, ‘Friends of RSVP West Region’. Our mission is to encourage you who are over 50 to volunteer for the benefit of your local community and to provide you with appropriate training and support.

At RSVP West we are volunteer-led and have no salaried staff and that includes our Regional Coordinator and members of the management team.

The Region has around one thousand members and is growing fast. Most of these work in groups led by Project Organisers who coordinate the work.

Some volunteers work within a particular geographical area; others are involved in specific areas of activity such as community care, transport services, care homes, ‘older people’ projects and our schools programme.

Yet more have responsibility for internal activities such as Office Administration, Information Systems (IT), the Membership and Projects Database and Bookkeeping.

We work in groups to recreate the fellowship we enjoyed during our working lives and if you do join we will ask you to:

* choose what you become involved with – that might be one or more activity
* decide how much time you would like to donate and when
* keep to the commitments you have made


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Cause / Interests

  • Children
  • Education and Literacy
  • Families
  • Youth

Types of Activity

  • Mentoring
  • Teaching, Training and Coaching

Skills and Qualifications


Enjoy being with young people
Can communicate well with young people
Good numeracy and literacy


The overwhelming response from volunteers is that they gain a sense of satisfaction from seeing pupils make progress as a result of their help. You are likely to find it fun too. Each young person is different. Getting to know them is refreshing and can give a sense of purpose to your week.

Additional/Specific Suitabilities

Minimum Age: 50
Maximum Age: NA
Disabled Access: No
Wheelchair Access: No
Expenses: Out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed
Restrictions: NA
Induction: NA
Insurance Cover: Yes
Special Needs: NA
Offer: Supported by a classroom teacher
Training: NA
Other: NA

Recruitment Method