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Volunteering: Have you ever thought about it?

Categories: Volunteering

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Volunteering has a purposeful positive impact on your community, but it can have many the benefits for the individual, if you’re thinking about it, here’s some reasons to volunteer:

Being part of the community
We sometimes take our community for granted but as people we co-depend on each other. Communities in recent times have become segmented but with volunteering we can move towards bringing everyone together. There aren't many better ways in which we can help others, connect with the people in the community and return to society the positive benefits it provides us with.

community image

learning skills

Learning and developing new skills.

Volunteering is a great way to discover and develop hidden talents and skills. There is no age old enough to stop someone learning and developing their knowledge. Volunteering for Spectrum Days with roles such as support worker, administrative, marketing and finance can help develop people skills, goal setting, time management, budget skills and marketing skills. These skills can help build your CV and experience to enhance your career prospects in your current career choice or a new path you are considering. It doesn't have to be skill based volunteering either, you could just be looking to have a go at painting or creating art that can be displayed in the charity’s building or providing arts, crafts and music.

Meeting new people

Volunteering brings a diverse group of people from all walks of life together. The receivers of voluntary work and co-volunteers can provide great way for us to develop interpersonal skills and learn about people from different environments. This form of networking can be a great benefit as you never know who you’re going to meet, how you could benefit each other, what information you could learn and what friendships you could develop.

meeting people

Sense of achievement

Unlike many things in life, there is a choice when volunteering. Some people think ‘how can one person make a difference?’ However, there a can be great sense of achievement and fulfilment when a volunteer has worked hard, giving up their own spare time to organise an event or support a cause and it is a final success. Just imagine if everyone thought ‘If I can make a small difference in my local community then I have done something’, then it would make a huge difference.

It’s good for your career…

According to TimeBank, an organisation for volunteers, 84% of those responsible for hiring believe that volunteering is a great way to help people find work. That may be because 80% of employer’s value volunteering on a CV. When in employment, 70% of employers thought that volunteers have a better chance of earning a higher salary and gaining promotion in future than those who don’t. So there you have it, volunteering can also be a great way to jump start your career.

New Hobbies

Volunteering can help break up the cycle of an everyday routine and create an equilibrium in our lives. Volunteering can be fun, relaxing and lead to discovering new interests, hobbies and explore new opportunities which can help re-energise your day-to-day life.

...Thinking about it? Just do it!

If you’re not currently volunteering and are considering it, as little as 1 hour per week can make a difference. There are many websites you can use for advice and support such as: https://www.ncvo.org.uk/ncvo-volunteering, http://www.volunteermatch.org/ and https://do-it.org/. Even better, contact the organisation you want to volunteer for and ask how you can help.

References:

Psychology Today: 5 reasons to volunteer

Ten Professional Development Benefits of Volunteering (Everything I Learned in Life I Learned through Volunteering). Mary V. Merrill, LSW, Merrill Associates

TimeBank volunteer research

Author: Maggie Allen

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