The benefits of volunteering: What’s in it for you?
1) Learn and develop new skills
Volunteering broadens your skill set by making you step outside of your normal routine. By doing something new and different on a regular basis, you can find new hobbies, new interests and new passions. Volunteering often includes volunteer training, so that you can learn a new skill whilst giving back.
2) Create career opportunities
Volunteering can build on valuable professional skills, including time management, people skills and teamwork. The more you feel comfortable with interacting with others within an organisation, and following a routine that’s different to your own, the more employable you become. In addition to this, employers often look for practical experience as part of their job specification. If you’ve volunteered in your professional area of interest, you’ve already got this in the bag
3) Becoming part of your community
Regular contact with others is a brilliant way to feel part of something bigger. Becoming part of your community (however you choose to do it) heightens a feeling of belonging and sense of self. Being part of a group of volunteers gives you an understanding of how other people live, gives you scope and decreases a sense of detachment so often felt in today’s society
4) Make friends!
You’ll often find best friends for life in amongst those you volunteer with. You’ll find people with a similar outlook on life, similar interests and a willingness to do good in the world. Volunteering can bring people together from all walks of life and develop interpersonal skills, expanding your network of friends and leading to a fuller life.
5) Gain in confidence
Your self-confidence will be boosted as you learn and grow through volunteering. Finding you are quite capable of completing volunteering tasks set out in front of you creates a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. This can be carried across to other areas of your life, benefiting you across the board.
6) Stay physically healthy
Volunteer work can be physically demanding and difficult, but hugely beneficial to your physical health. Moving more and staying active is proven to lengthen life expectancy, and to decrease the risk of heart disease. Volunteering is an easy way of having fun whilst staying fit.
7) Improve your mental health
Volunteering (and all of the things listed above) have been proven to improve mental health.
Read more about this here.