1. Mentor children overseas
Become part of the School in the Cloud’s international network of grannies (and granddads) who read stories, sing songs and chat with deprived children in India, Colombia, Mexico and Greenland via Skype.
2. Map a disaster zone
Help make maps to inform the relief efforts of organisations such as the Red Cross. Volunteers use satellite images and a drawing tool to mark up buildings, rivers and roads in remote areas that may not have been mapped before. Recent initiatives include the Nepalese earthquake and the ebola outbreak in West Africa.
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3. Break down stereotypes
Project Implicit is a non-profit network of researchers investigating the subconscious way our minds work. Volunteers take psychological tests online to help scientists better understand society’s hidden prejudices and how we might tackle them.
4. Fight climate change
Improve scientists’ understanding of climate change by examining infrared images of tropical cyclones dating back to 1978. A tutorial tells you what to look for. Experts use your classifications to learn how cyclones have changed through time.
5. Create new medicines
Players of the online game Foldit twist virtual chains of chemicals into energy efficient shapes. The most promising solutions are synthesised in the lab and could lead to the creation of new medicines.
6. Improve disabled access
Make your neighbourhood more accessible by ranking shops and restaurants for their disabled-friendly credentials. Enter your postcode on the AXS Map website to bring up a map and list of businesses. You rate these using a star system. A video explains what to check for.
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7. Use your phone to beat Parkinson's
100 for Parkinson's tracks the lives of people with and without Parkinson's via an app you can download on to your phone.
This global study needs volunteers without Parkinson's to create a dataset to compare the results of those with the disease.
Find out more on the 100 for Parkinson's website.
8. Micro volunteer
The micro-volunteering website Help From Home lists over 800 easy ways for people to volunteer without leaving the house, and has been used by more 10,000 people.
9. Help cure cancer
Cancer Research UK needs volunteers to play its online games, such as The Impossible Line and Reverse the Odds.
Participants solve puzzles that help show scientists how cancer cells work, allowing them to improve diagnosis and treatments.
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