18 days to go.
Many charities, community groups and sporting events would simply be unable to function if it weren’t for the army of people who give their time freely to ‘make it happen’.
There are many reasons people volunteer; to give something back to an organisation that has helped them or their family through difficult times; to learn a new skill or try something different; to make a difference for others; to help with environmental issues; to meet others and be part of a team, to name a few.
Whatever the reason, any time you spend as a volunteer provides enormous benefits to others whether that’s a one- off community event, a regular charity commitment or supporting a neighbour. Importantly, you’ll also be benefiting yourself.
Volunteering connects you to others helping to build your social network, meet like-minded people and to make new friends. It’s especially helpful if you have moved to live in an area new to you when you will more easily get to learn about your new community and what’s going on when. You may find you can develop new skills or pursue a hobby or interest as with many environmental charities or outdoor community groups.
It’s good for your physical and mental health too. Being around other people with a shared interest and purpose in helping the community helps reduce stress and anxiety by working together towards a common goal. Helping others always leaves us with a feeling of satisfaction and wellbeing at having done a ‘good deed’ and humans are inherently wired to do good for others and get a lot out of it.
Many volunteers are those who are retired as they have a bit more time on their hands. Research has shown that older volunteers are healthier: they tend to walk more, have lower risks of heart disease and better cognitive function than those who don’t volunteer.
All in all volunteering is a win-win situation.
Challenges make life interesting - overcoming them makes life meaningful