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Five impactful ways deaf young people can volunteer

Published Date: 10 Jun 2024

In celebration of 40 years of Volunteers’ Week, we're hoping to inspire more deaf young people to volunteer and make a difference.

We know there are lots of ways you can get involved and make a difference. But we also know some deaf young people are put off by the idea that volunteering could be time consuming, difficult or even inaccessible because of their deafness. To help inspire you, our content editor Erin Boeck Motum put together a list of five accessible ways you can volunteer.

1. Join a local group, or start your own.

Whether online or in person, finding your people has many benefits. But having real-life interactions in your community can make it more likely that you’ll see the impact you have.

We’re affiliated with more than 90 different local groups. Although many are run by parents, carers and professionals, quite a few have told us that they want more young people to be involved.

If you’ve got an idea for something you’d like to see happen in your local community, check out our existing groups. And if there’s not one nearby, you might even want to consider starting your own.

2. Volunteer or mentor younger deaf children.

You might’ve seen the “be who you needed when you were younger” posts floating around social media. If you're feeling inspired to be a positive influence on the world, you’ve got options.

Reach out to an existing organisation – like Big Brothers Big Sisters UK, Scouts UK or maybe even a local mainstream or special schools.

Simply being yourself can be a powerful form of advocacy. By offering support, encouragement and insights from your lived experiences, you can help make the world a better place for the next generation.

3. Share your stories on blogs or vlogs.

You might not think of blogging or vlogging as volunteering, but storytelling has the power to change lives and remind people that they’re not alone.

If you’re interested in blogging, vlogging or reviewing books for us, we’re always on the lookout for diverse stories that span the range of deaf experiences. Send us a message by emailing [email protected]. (You can reach out to other organisations, too!)

You never know whom you might reach – so if you’ve got a way with words, we encourage you to make the most of it.

4. More than memes: Use social media for advocacy.

We love a bit of good fun with memes and CapCut videos. But did you know that you could also use your socials to spread awareness about the issues that matter to you, share your personal journey or highlight important campaigns?

Get creative with stories, videos and infographics, and know that even if you feel like your posts are just a drop in the ocean, each drop has the potential to turn into ripples – and maybe even waves. For facts and figures, just be sure to use reputable sources, and cite where the info comes from!

5. Participate in focus groups, workshops and conferences.

Joining a focus group or workshop can help us make sure our resources and programmes make a difference for deaf young people. If you want to share your thoughts and help us shape our information and advice, email our participation team at [email protected].

Pro tip: Keep an eye out for conferences that focus on deaf issues, accessibility and youth leadership. Many offer chances to learn from experts. Plus, you’ll also be able to connect with like-minded individuals who want to make a difference – just like you.

The world is full of opportunities, so dive in, get involved and let your unique perspective light the way. Carve your own path, and remember: Every step you take makes it a bit easier for the next person, too.

Ready to learn more? Check out our page on how young people can get involved.