Volunteering helps young people develop their skills, their CV and their confidence. Find out how it works from the young volunteers themselves...
Fran Edwards - "I became part of the greatest sporting event in the world"
As a member of the Surrey hub of the Young Leaders Programme, I worked alongside an incredible bunch of people to make a positive difference.
Over the past two years, we planned and delivered a number of community projects and individual challenges that were inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic Values. The project culminated in a once in a lifetime opportunity to be Games Maker at London 2012.
There is no doubt that volunteering has helped me to achieve my goal of going to university and gaining a job as a chalet host for this year's ski season.
I am going to continue volunteering during my sports degree by working with schools and sports clubs in the community, and would encourage anyone of any age to get involved and gain the rewards that volunteering can provide. Read more of Fran's story here.
Luke Harris - "Team V is unlike anything I've ever done before"
Within a couple of hours of meeting my fellow Team V Leaders and the vInspired staff, I knew I was very lucky to be part of something very special.
From taking part in the Team V programme, I've understood the world better and become aware of the real issues that we need to address and change in our society.
I've learnt a range of skills in project management, campaigning, volunteer recruitment, budgeting, negotiation and time management. All valuable skills to show employers. I've also met an incredible group of young people who are passionate, committed and inspirational and will continue to achieve great things.
It's been life changing. I wish I could do it all again. Read more of Luke's story here.
Joanna Mayes - "Volunteering saved my life"
Have you ever felt so alone that it hurt? Felt the pain that you are causing to other people was too much and that they'd be better off without you? I have. I was being bullied, wasn't doing well in lessons, self-harming and completely and utterly lost.
I could write pages and pages about what volunteering has done for me. People ask me why I volunteer when I don't get paid, but for me I gained something that cannot ever be valued by money.
I will never be able to put into words just how thankful I am to the people who helped me along the way.
I just hope that the fact that I won the 2012 National vInspired Award for Bringing Communities Together and have done over 500 hours of voluntary work can go some way to saying, in my own way, "thank you". Read more of Joanna's story here.
Tom Mover - "Volunteering took me to the Amazon"
Volunteering isn't just something to put on my CV or something to do when I'm bored. It's a huge part of my life and my volunteering experiences have really shaped my view of the world.
After several successful campaigns with People and Planet, I realised that creating real change and having tangible impacts locally is a huge motivator for me. So much so that I realised it's what I want to do with the rest of my life!
I decided to take a year out to volunteer as an Environmental Education Assistant for local community charity Groundwork Leeds. I helped on all sorts of fantastic projects in schools and communities, plus I volunteered to do scientific research in Ecuador and helped with conservation on a game reserve in South Africa.
So do what I did - get out there and volunteer... but be warned, it's so good you'll soon get addicted! Read more of Tom's story here.
Malorie Perry - "I built my confidence by volunteering at Glastonbury"
Though I volunteered for Oxfam at Glastonbury by myself, I soon learnt you are not alone for very long. At my first festival I met a lovely group of people and we have stewarded together ever since.
All roles I have done involve the public, from checking tickets at the VIP vehicle gate at Glastonbury to wrist-banding at Download. Alongside loving all the voluntary stuff, ever festival has such a variety of stewards - experienced, new, young, old... children are even welcome to come along with their parents.
At the end of the day you are making friends and having loads of fun helping raise money for an amazing charity. By yourself or with a group of friends, I would recommend stewarding with Oxfam every summer. Read more of Malorie's story here.