It is often said that people just don’t have the time to give “time” to voluntary groups these days. However, since becoming a parent, I have had much greater contact with voluntary and community organisations and have seen that there are still huge numbers of people in our communities who donate their time and resources to others.

The National Volunteer Week ran from 21-27 June 2015. I want to give a big YAY to all of you who help out your communities in some way. Even though we all lead very busy lives these days, juggling work, families and more, there are still many, many people who give their time to a community organisation of some sort.

National Volunteer Week

From what I have seen it is often the mums who are helping schools with their reading programmes, baking and sewing for galas/cake stalls, collecting money or goods for charitable organisations, joining committees, joining causes, networking for the greater good, and helping those who just need a hand. There are many ways that people provide voluntary support to their communities and there are many benefits to taking on a formal voluntary role, and not just to the organisation that you choose to help. Taking on a volunteer role in your community can give you, the volunteer, many positive opportunities.

National Volunteer Week – the benefits of volunteering

Volunteering could give you the opportunity to:

  • Meet new people, especially if you are new to an area.
  • Try something new.
  • Experience meeting and procedure protocols, or the chance to upskill or practise skills you are developing.
  • Gain experience in a new field – you might be able to try out a new career without making a long-term change or commitment.
  • Strengthen your ties to the community and broaden your support network, exposing you to people with common interests, neighbourhood resources, and potentially fulfilling activities.
  • Expose you to professional organisations or networking opportunities that could be of benefit to your career.
  • Enhance or develop your social skills.
  • Develop your sense of identity and achieve a sense of accomplishment. The better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals. And if those reasons aren’t enough, there are some studies that have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not!

Mummy to three small boys

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