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Free to Be Kids
Free to Be Kids runs crucial respite breaks for inner-city London's most disadvantaged children. Our breaks offer the opportunity for children to have fun, try new things, build their confidence and feel brave. The holidays are packed with nature and animal focused activities like kayaking down a river or den building in the forest. Without our breaks, many of these children wouldn't have a…

Free To Be supports particularly vulnerable children to  begin to change their stories about who they are, and who they can be. We help children who have often grown up with significant adversity or hardship to more often feel proud of themselves and to experience feeling brave, adventurous, included and successful - often for the first time in a long time. 

We do this via overnight adventures and nature based residentials; using the inherent power of the outdoors, animals, nature and self-expression - all of which are integral to the programmes we run. Children experience meeting animals at the farm, building dens in the forest, building rafts in teams to paddle across a lake, standing on the beach for the first time, cooking together in groups, camping out under the stars and a wide range of other activities all carefully designed to both broaden horizons, but also to scaffold the building of self-confidence, resilience, and trust in others.




As a Kitchen Crew volunteers volunteer you’ll stay on-site for 1 week, and ensure that our adventures are possible by creating nutritious meals for the children, running cooking workshops for the young people and you also have the option to go out on the activities too! You’ll spend your days singing along to the radio whilst you food prep with the other Kitchen Crew team members, going for walks to pick flowers to decorate the tables or just generally helping out with things around the site. Once the young people get back from their activities, they’ll be ready to devour biscuits as they tell you all about their day and try to convince you to go for a quick bounce on the bouncy castle with them… You’re also the project fairies who organise little treats for the other volunteers (like hidden chocolates or a sneaky portion of brownies for the evening) - you’ll be given a budget for this and can decide what you want to do with your Kitchen Crew teammates.

Who will the volunteers be working with?
Vulnerable, disadvantaged young people between 8-13 years old.
Food, board and activities during your time volunteering is covered by us. Full safeguarding training (online) and induction training with team and other new volunteers (online). Additional food hygiene and allergens training (level 2- online), with cost covered by us.

Time commitment

We run our residential projects throughout the Easter and Summer school holidays. Each residential lasts 6 nights, 7 days. We ask that you commit to volunteering for a 7-day residential programme, where you will stay on site for the duration.
Application deadline

This organisation is one of our community partner organisations.

Like all volunteer recruiters we work with, they have signed up to our service standards, agreeing to abide by our policy on partnership working to keep you safe and supported whilst you volunteer.

You’ll never be out of pocket for volunteering through us – with in-London travel expenses to and from your volunteering guaranteed.

In addition, the team here at Students’ Union UCL Volunteering Service is here to support you throughout your volunteering journey – you can get in touch with us at any time.