How schools can lend a hand

The icon showcases a blue hand holding an orange notebook.

Creating the next generation of helping hands!

Volunteers play a vital role in our lives and our communities, but unfortunately volunteering has been in decline over the last few years.

That’s why the Big Help Out is back for its second year, and starting on Friday 7th June, so schools across the UK can take part and help shape the next generation of helping hands.

There are lots of ways schools can get involved, including hosting Big Help Out assemblies. You’ll find resources below to help you plan how your school could get involved.

Working together, teachers have the power to instil the values of compassion and community service in the next generation. For many this is a part of your regular work anyway!

So please join us, this Big Help Out Friday June 7th for a national day of volunteering!

Ways for your school to get involved:

We’ve made it quick and easy to educate on volunteering and then help your students try volunteering.

Download the FREE VotesforSchools resource pack and join the nation in hosting Big Help Out assemblies from the 11th of March onwards!

Download Resources

Join a webinar to find out how your school can participate in the Big Help Out!

Instil the value of volunteering in young minds: Find out more in this webinar with Bookmark Reading Charity about the benefits of volunteering for young people.

Date: Monday 15th April from 3.45-4.30pm

Register your interest

Post your school’s support!

Use your school’s social media channels to let us know your school is getting involved. You can download some handy posts here:

Spread the word!

How to get involved on Friday 7th June

Train Y6 pupils to read with younger children

Bookmark Reading wants to work with you for the Big Help Out and help turn your students into reading mentors!

There are many benefits to peer reading and pupils having reading role models to look up to. Learn more about their Reading Mentor scheme and join a webinar to explore how to set up a buddy reading scheme in primary schools where Year 6 pupils pair up and read with children in younger year groups.

Date: Thursday 6th June from 3.45-4.30pm

Register your interest

Learn how to train sixth form students to become reading mentors to young children.

Bookmark Reading Charity runs a Reading Mentor scheme that gives 16–17-year-olds the opportunity to read with children in their local primary school.

We’ve put together some information to help your school give this opportunity to your students and help ignite the joy of reading in children.

Learn more here

Create a student team of befrienders by sharing stories with your local care home using Linking Network activities

The Linking Network is a nationwide charity that brings children and young people together with others they would not normally meet. The carefully designed activities and lesson plans provide a framework for social action as young people work together with their linking partners to choose and lead on a social action issue or project important to them.

Take advantage of the Big Help Out to connect with an older person’s setting and assist your students in making friends with people who are not like them by sharing stories.

Download resource

Get your students planning their own social action campaigns with #IWill

#iWill Champions are young people, 10-25, who want to play their part in society by campaigning, volunteering or fundraising to make a difference in their communities. Help your students plan their own days of social action with #IWill.

Download the #IWill toolkit

Help your students become Volunteer Champions for Inclusion with Guide Dogs

Help promote inclusivity in your school and community with Guide Dogs.

1. Start important conversations about living with a disability and how there are simple steps we can all take to ensure inclusion. Host this yourself or invite in one of our trained speakers from Guide Dogs.

2. Download The Resources to make inclusivity promises and experience a guided blindfolded challenge that helps build empathy.

3. Open the school doors for a community event with refreshments to showcase everyone’s social action promises, raise vital funds, and receive our special school accreditation. Enjoy special extras in our pack for this fundraiser, only available for the Big Help Out event!

Download The Pack

Get your students to give back to the school they learn in

How about a #BigHelpOut clean up for your school? From litter picking to re-painting areas that need a little love – get students to improve the spaces they learn in.

Asda amongst other organisations are taking part in the Big Help Out and hosting their own big clean ups.

The Big Help Out could be the opportunity to do this in your school, paint the walls, litter pick your fields or even create new display boards.

Get planning today!

Help your children lend a hand to the environment with the National Trusts Wild Isle resources!

Now: Learn how to support nature on school grounds through these webinars: primary schools and secondary schools.

On the day: out and about option: Use these spotter sheetsTowns/cities and Countryside/rural to help children identify nature they come across in everyday life and inspire them to want to protect it.

On the day: in the classroom option: Explore the UK’s natural habitats in the classroom through these resources and lead the discussions with students about why they are important, and what support they need to thrive. The initial Exploring Our Wild Isles: Schools Presentation can be found on the resources page.

Use our digital resources icon inspiring schools to participate in volunteering and the the Big Help Out, UK

Or why not lend a hand with a charity you’re already partnered with!

The Big Help Out is a perfect time to renew local links and collaborations. We suggest discussing it at your assembly – ask your students what they’d like to do! To explore these ideas further click the links above or visit the educators supporter sheet below (provided by VotesforSchools):

Let us know what you’re up to and post your school activities on social media using #TheBigHelpOut

Download some social media ideas here.

To make the day extra special for your students, download & print our participation certificates!

Lend a Hand icon inspiring volunteering in schools as part of the Big Help Out, UK

Get in touch!

Our team would love to learn more about what you’re doing and if there is a good opportunity to showcase your student volunteering activities as part of the wider media campaign.

Write to Us:

Continue shaping the next generation of volunteers after The Big Help Out!

Contact Our Partners

Association for Teaching Citizenship

“We are working with schools across the country to build a movement committed to integrating citizenship and democracy education as a curriculum subject over the long term.

For teachers we are helping them develop research informed practice, improve their subject knowledge and citizenship pedagogy, especially in relation to active citizenship. For young people, the ACiS programme seeks to improve their political literacy, democratic engagement and participation alongside their personal development, employment prospects and life skills”

Find out more about us and our resources at:

Linking Network

“Do your students want to experience the joy of spending time with older people, sharing stories, activities and building relationships?”

If so, Intergenerational Linking with an older person’s setting might be the perfect opportunity for your students to develop their skills as active citizens.The experience of planning and taking part in meaningful social action building a connection with a local older people’s setting provides a sense of agency and achievement. The Linking Network can provide resources, guidance and inspiring real life examples. Find out more and get in touch on via their ( or by emailing

First Give

“Do your students want to give more of their time and skills? If you’re interested in finding more ways to encourage, support and inspire your students to be active citizens the First Give programme might be perfect for your school. Their fully resourced, 8 lesson scheme of work is designed to support a full year group to carry out meaningful social action in support of local charities. Find out more and get in touch on their website ( or by emailing

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