Why volunteer for JDRF?

JDRF is the world's leading type 1 diabetes charity, improving lives until we find the cure. Volunteering with us will not only help to drive forward the work we do, but is great for personal development too.

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Whether you’re cheering JDRF runners on at the London Marathon or helping our major donors’ team to administer significant donations to fund our work volunteering will give you an opportunity to:

  • Gain new skills
  • Build on existing experience and skills
  • Meet other volunteers with a connection to type 1
  • Create lasting friendships
  • Have fun

Why JDRF?

We fund research to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes. We provide information for children, adults and parents living with the condition, at all stages from diagnosis and beyond. We give a voice to people with type 1 diabetes and campaign for increased focus on, and funding for, research to find the cure.

By volunteering with JDRF you will be making a difference to JDRF and our aims of treating, preventing and curing type 1 diabetes. One day, together, we will create a world without type 1 diabetes.

Regardless of your motivations for volunteering, your connection to type 1 diabetes, or the level of experience you’ve had before volunteering with us, all of our volunteers are ambassadors for JDRF and are equally as vital in driving forward the work we do. Our volunteers’ passion and dedication amazes us every day. Whether you can give an hour occasionally or a day a week, every minute will be hugely appreciated.

Inspired to volunteer?

Contact our volunteering team on 020 7841 3621 or email [email protected]

Volunteer stories

Louise’s story

A woman volunteer

I have been a supporter of JDRF for 10 years, since my daughter, age 7, was diagnosed with type 1. We took part in some sponsored walks as a family which raised a bit of money and was a great way to meet other people in similar situations.

I work as a training consultant running management and team development programmes for a wide range of organisations including charities.

It occurred to me that maybe my skills could be useful to JDRF and I am pleased to say they have been. I have helped run the Volunteer Speakers’ Programme, training people to go out and talk on behalf of JDRF to raise awareness and some money.

I’m really pleased to be able to help out in such a practical way and it’s great to meet other volunteers as well.

Gillian’s story

A female volunteer

My son Mark was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in February 2002, he was eight years old.

Once I had recovered from the shock of Mark’s diagnosis and got to grips with the day-to-day management of type 1 diabetes the next thing I wanted to do was to find a cure for it. I quickly discovered that a cure would only come from scientific research. As I am not in a position to make the scientific breakthrough myself the next best thing I could do was to help the charity that can! Volunteering with JDRF was the obvious choice for me. 

I have had many different volunteering roles within JDRF working with both the Scotland team in Aberdeen and the Community Engagement team in London. It has been interesting, challenging, fun, a privilege and immensely rewarding to help bring the cure for type 1 a step closer.

One of the first projects I helped with was making contact with the diabetes clinics in Scotland to update them with news of JDRF resources and events that might interest their patients. 

Working with the Community Engagement team I helped with the production of the Pregnancy and University Tookits. This involved researching the existing material available, helping assemble a team of healthcare professionals and volunteers to contribute to the projects, and developing my computing skills. I also helped the charity by sending out resources to newly diagnosed patients and their families.

Alongside the Scotland team I have been able to help with many of the ‘big events’ that bring in an amazing amount of cash for the charity. The skills I have developed during these fun days range from hanging bunting, checking in walkers, helping dress the ballroom for this year’s exciting theme to helping collect money from enthusiastic guests. 

With both teams I have manned the JDRF information stall in many settings. The most unusual setting has got to be a health promotions day at the Ministry of Defence! These events have allowed me the chance to support people living with the condition, educate others who knew little about type 1 diabetes as well as raise the profile of the charity.

I have also had the opportunity to speak on behalf of JDRF at a few events including a walk launch to help recruit corporate sponsors and at the Patrons’ Club launch here in Scotland. These definitely improved my public speaking skills!

If you are thinking about volunteering for JDRF I would definitely recommend going ahead and taking that first step. You will be fully supported and encouraged by JDRF staff in the volunteering team and within your local JDRF team. You will be given the opportunity to use your existing skills and learn new ones all great for the CV! Most importantly YOUR CONTRIBUTION to the charity will make a huge difference!

World Diabetes Day volunteers

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Ready to sign up? If you're interested, we'd love to talk to you about how you could help. Please take a look at our current opportunities and contact us.

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Catty’s story

CattyMy daughter, Libby was diagnosed aged 6 with type 1 diabetes in 2008. The first few years were all about getting to grips with a new way of life, but I soon knew I wanted to do more to try and improve her life and that of other type 1 diabetics. I had first learned about JDRF and their search for a cure through (JDRF information pack) KIDSAC and Rufus, and I had been supporting them since my daughter’s diagnosis, but I wanted to get more involved.

Since 2012 I have been going into JDRF and helping out in the office. I have worked in several areas including administration of the web shop and helping to organise a Discovery Day. I’ve even got out of the office to help with a Spin to Cure event and attend conferences with medical professionals. I’ve enjoyed it so much I’ve taken on a paid role as a fundraising administrator. It’s only temporary, but as my children grow I can see a future for me at JDRF helping in a small way to find a cure.

I took on volunteering at JDRF as a way to help my daughter and others like her, but it has definitely helped me too. I hadn’t been working since my daughter was born 15 years ago, JDRF has offered me skills and a way back into employment that doesn’t seem daunting as I already know all the friendly office staff. I can’t stress enough how committed they are to their supporters, one of my favourite things and something I don’t think you realise unless you actually work here, is that when a child writes in about their Rufus, or an adult rings to say thank you for JDRF’s work, it’s talked about, and the letters treasured – they really care about why they are doing this job. It’s not just the people who work here either, every JDRF volunteer I’ve met has been committed to the search for a cure, and we all know how supportive the Type 1 community is.

If you are looking for a volunteering role, JDRF is a great place to help out. If you have a personal connection you know you are doing something positive to help a loved one; if you don’t have a personal connection you soon will as there are so many fabulous type 1s working at JDRF. When we see a cure you will know you have helped.

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