Volunteering: The Benefits

1/06/2022

This week marks Volunteers’ Week, to thank volunteers and recognise the fantastic contribution they make in society. It is easy to see just how volunteering can benefit charities, but how can volunteering help individuals? From making new friends to advancing your career, there are so many ways volunteering can enrich your life. Read on to find out why volunteering could be a great choice for you.

1. Meet New People and Build Relationships

Being part of a team with a common goal can help you build new relationships, which can have a big impact on your life. Through helping others, you will be creating meaningful relationships, not just with those you are helping, but with colleagues too. Volunteering connects people with shared values, and can be a rewarding and fun way to meet people with similar interests to your own. The sense of belonging and purpose can enrich your wellbeing, too. Check out Guideposts’ volunteering opportunities and find something to suit your interests. We’re a friendly bunch and you’ll build meaningful relationships in no time.

2. Improve Wellbeing Through a Sense of Purpose

Volunteering is proven to increase your self-esteem and confidence. Through learning new skills and gaining knowledge, developing as a person and working towards a goal can be hugely fulfilling and boost your sense of purpose. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and receiving appreciation from both those you help and your colleagues can make you feel great emotionally. For those feeling less than confident, picking up new skills while making new friends and helping others can work wonders. Volunteering can really boost wellbeing!

A collage of words including help, purpose, wellbeing, career, and friends. The words relate to volunteering.

3. Improve your Career Prospects

Volunteering will allow you to gain transferable skills, and will look great on you CV and in interviews. From strengthening your social skills to picking up more job-specific knowledge, volunteering is one of the best ways to really make your CV stand out. Volunteering is especially great for those wishing to change career fields. It allows you to start building up your skills base and making your CV relevant to the career you are keen to begin. Relevant volunteer work will allow you to shine during interviews, especially when entering a field you haven’t been employed in before. In addition, volunteering will allow you to demonstrate to employers your interest in things bigger than yourself, and show how you are willing to take action to improve the world for the better. As a bonus, volunteering will allow you to learn from professionals, and perhaps even lead you to identify gaps in the field. Perfect for entrepreneurs!

4. Volunteering Improves Physical Health

Volunteering not only boosts mental health and wellbeing, but can aid in improving physical health, too. Spending time with others, especially when they have similar interests to yourself, can reduce stress. This means better sleep and reduced risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and anxiety. In addition, many volunteering roles involve physical activity and exercise. Try helping out at our Dig ‘N’ Grow gardening group in Witney and reap the benefits! New friends, helping others, exercise, and being outdoors will help reduce stress and improve your overall physical health.

Join our Dig ‘N’ Grow team!

5. Volunteering Boosts your Brain Power!

Volunteering has been proven to increase your problem-solving skills, improve both your short-term and long-term memory, and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s. The more you challenge yourself to learn new skills, the more limber you will keep your brain. People of any age can volunteer, and it can be a great way to keep our brains healthy as we age. Move over young at heart, we’re introducing young at brain!

Finally…

Volunteering carries a myriad of benefits, not only for those benefitting from your help, but for yourself, too. People of any age and activity level can volunteer, and whatever your interests and goals, there is an opportunity for you. Whether you can offer just an hour a week or whole days, charities always appreciate and value volunteers. Guideposts’ relies on volunteers to help us be there for some of the most vulnerable people in society. Thank you!

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