This week is National Volunteering Week 2021, so we thought we’d talk about the benefits of volunteering for your mental health, wellbeing, and career prospects. A report conducted by Mental Health Innovations (the charity behind the 24/7 support service, Shout 85258) found that 74% of volunteers agreed that volunteering gives them a greater sense of wellbeing.
Here are just some of the ways volunteering benefits people:
Benefit 1: Volunteering connects you to others
Volunteering allows you to connect with a community. Every single one of us can volunteer and even the smallest of tasks can make a big difference to those in need. Plus, dedicating your time as a volunteer can help you make new friends and boost your social skills.
Benefit 2: Volunteering is good for your mind and body
Volunteering provides many benefits to both mental and physical health. The social aspect of helping and working with others can help you to look out and up, rather than focusing on yourself. This can create meaningful connections with others which helps to relieve stress. Working with animals has also been shown to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
Regular volunteering keeps you in contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn can lower the risk of developing depression.
Volunteering makes you happy. By measuring hormones and brain activity, researchers have discovered that being helpful to others contributes to feelings of happiness. We are hard-wired to help others. The more we give, the happier we feel.
Volunteering increases self-confidence. Working with others and the community can provide a sense of accomplishment and pride. You are much more likely to view your life in a positive light if you feel better about yourself and your achievements.
Benefit 3: Volunteering can advance your career
If you’re about to leave school or University and apply for your first Job, volunteering can help you gain experience in your area of interest and meet people in the field. It can give you the opportunity to practice important and transferrable skills used in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organisation.
Gaining experience through voluntary roles will prepare you for the world of work and make starting a job feel less daunting and more comfortable.
Benefit 4: Volunteering brings fun and fulfilment to your life
Volunteering is a fun and easy way to explore your interests and passions in a low-pressure environment.
Keep up to date on our latest insights, guidance and tips
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