We are all told that volunteering makes you feel good, but what are the real benefits? Volunteering offers vital help to those who are struggling, causes to push forward the world and gaining a stronger connection to the local community. It can be as simple as leafleting or doing a bucket collection, to managing social media or even to be part of heading a group to achieve their aims. Here’s how volunteering, how ever small, can benefit you.
1: Boosting Your Mental and Physical Health
Many studies have shown that volunteering work can decrease low mood, stress and anger. The idea of doing something for others and bettering your environment can have a profound effect on ones well being. It can increase your confidence levels as it provides a sense of purpose. The natural feeling of pride that comes with voluntary work will also add to this. Furthermore, some forms of volunteering happen outside or involve walking, which can aid a healthier body and improve thinking skills.
2: Volunteering Can Improve Career Prospects
Even if the work is not in your specialised field, volunteering can teach you relevant skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, communication, task planning and organisation, all interchangeable skills that can be used in the future. Moreover, some volunteering opportunities can give you experience in a field you may not normally consider, like helping out at an animal shelter or writing blogs. Your volunteer work might also expose you to professional organisations or internships that could benefit your career.
3: Volunteering Involves Making Valuable Connection
Through voluntary work, the people you meet can benefit you mentally, socially and expand your network for future opportunities. Your ties to the community can become stronger and it can help you feel part of something, creating an identity. You are already linked with the other volunteers through what you are doing and common interests!
Written by virtual volunteer Emily Clugston