Volunteers’ unpaid gifts of time, energy and skills can mean more promotion, support and resources for a business and their clients.
In 2017, Volunteering Australia found that 93% of volunteers saw positive changes as a result of their volunteering, and 99% said they would continue volunteering in the future (VA, 2017). Plenty of additional evidence shows that volunteering creates enormous benefits for you, your family and your community. Furthermore, studies have shown that volunteering also has a profound effect on a person’s mental health and wellbeing. If you’re considering volunteering, here are some of the benefits you can enjoy:
Volunteering connects you with others.
Volunteering is one of the best ways to make friends and have opportunities to meet people from culturally diverse background. It allows you to connect with your community in a deep way and make it a better place. Volunteering helps you see that even the smallest tasks can make a huge impact on another person’s life. It helps you make new friends, expand your circle of acquaintances and boost your social skills.
Volunteering is good for your mind.
According to Musick & Wilson (2008), volunteering helps mitigate the effects of stress, anxiety and other strong emotions. Social contact, and finding time to not ruminate over personal problems, can improve mood and assist you to see your life through a different lens. Many people who volunteer often report that volunteering creates meaning in their life. This goes a long way to enhancing mental health and connecting with the difference you make to others. Volunteering also increases self-confidence by creating opportunities for accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can foster feelings of pride and identity. These feelings shape a more positive view on life.
Volunteering can be good for your body.
Aside from the mental benefits, volunteering creates opportunities to stay physically fit. Studies have found that older volunteers are likely to walk more and find it easier to cope with the physical challenges of ageing. Furthermore, older volunteers are less likely to develop high blood pressure and more likely to retain their cognitive functions. The joy of volunteering has also been reported to lessen the impact of chronic pain.
Volunteering is good for our spirit.
Volunteering is a wonderful opportunity to share your skills and life experiences with others. Even if you have retired, volunteering may enable you to teach others and continue to practice important skills that you used across your career. Many ComLink volunteers have had previous lives as artists, musicians, business leaders and marketing specialists. Volunteering these skills to an organisation means you retain your identity whilst sharing what you love with others.
Becoming a volunteer can be a wonderful experience. Research shows that just 2-3 hours a week, or 100 hours a year, can reap the rewards.
Volunteering should be enriching for both you and the organisation you choose to volunteer with.
- Consider your goals for volunteering. Why do you want to do it? It may be to make the world a better place, try something new or meet more people. Identifying your ‘why’ will assist you to find the right organisation.
- Determine who (or what) you would like to work with. Is it children, animals, the elderly or teens?
- Do you like to work alone or as part of a team?
- How much time are you willing to commit?
- What skills could you bring to a volunteering role?
- What causes are important to you?
- Are you better behind the scenes or up-front?
Volunteer with ComLink
Do you want to feel good and make a difference in your community? We are currently on the lookout for volunteers to help with our care and social services. Volunteering is flexible and starting is easy. Get in touch with us on 1300 761 011 or learn more.
Volunteering Australia, 2016 ‘Giving Australia’. Retrieved from https://www.volunteeringaustralia.org/giving-australia-2016/
Musick, MA and Wilson, J 2008, ‘Volunteers: a social profile’, Indiana University Press USA