Have you always wanted to volunteer but have held back? Then this article is for you. We want to talk to you about why you should volunteer. The benefits of volunteering are huge. Giving your time to worthy causes benefits not only your local community, but also you!
You’d be surprised at how big the benefits of volunteering can be for you. We’ll discuss the five key benefits of volunteering and how this has a positive impact on you.
1. Learn new skills.
Volunteering gives you the opportunity to expand your knowledge. Most charities offer fantastic training opportunities to their volunteers. On top of that, you’ll have the chance to learn and practice important skills such as teamwork, communication, problem solving and organisation. Just because volunteering isn't paid, doesn't mean that the skills you learn are basic. If you're looking to learn more about a particular area, or gain experience in a new field, volunteering is hugely beneficial.
2. Improve your health.
Did you know that volunteering can improve your mental and physical health? Spending meaningful time with others through activities like volunteering is shown to reduce stress. As we give our attention to others, we turn our attention away from our own worries and concerns. Volunteering for a worthy cause adds a sense of perspective to our own problems and increases feelings of gratitude for what we do have.
But, you don’t have to take our word for it, look at the evidence. In their studies, VolunteerMatch found that 89% of volunteers said that volunteering improved their sense of well-being, whilst 73% said volunteering lowered their stress levels.
Volunteering can also improve physical health, especially if it provides an alternative to sitting at your desk all day. Volunteering at a food bank, nursing home or park gets you moving and requires you to do more than sit at your desk, which is great for your physical health.
3. Contribute to a worthwhile cause.
One of the key reasons people want to volunteer is to contribute to a worthwhile cause. No matter the chosen cause, you'll feel good about giving your time to something worthwhile. And it’s no surprise that the NHS has found that acts of giving and kindness to others creates positive feelings and improves your mental wellbeing. Giving back makes you feel more connected to the world and to others.
4. Meet people.
Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. And, volunteering gives you the opportunity to connect with others in a meaningful way. Bonding together whilst doing a shared activity is a guaranteed way to make new friends. Volunteering connects you with people with the same shared values as you, making your connections positive and meaningful.
Volunteering is also a great way to meet new people. Networking isn't just for Linkedin. Volunteering is a natural way to meet people in a low-pressure environment and without the uncomfortable silences of a traditional networking event.
5. Have fun!
Volunteering is fun! It’s the perfect escape from your day-to-day routine, providing purpose and renewing your creativity and motivation. Researchers at the London School of Economics found that the more people volunteered, the happier they were.
There you have it. Not only is volunteering fun, but it also helps you connect with others whilst contributing to a worthy cause. You’ll receive training and expand your knowledge, as well as learning new skills. And volunteering is even great for your mental and physical health!
So, what are you waiting for? The perfect volunteer opportunity is out there for you. At Simon on the Streets we offer training to all our volunteers. Volunteering with us is the perfect opportunity to give back to the local community and you’ll meet many people. To find out more about volunteering with us, check out our volunteering page.
You can also find volunteering opportunities in West Yorkshire at the following websites -
Leeds: Doing Good Leeds.
Bradford: Volunteers Centre
Kirklees: TSL Kirklees