‘Volunteers Needed’ is a message that we see everywhere: ranging from notices in shop windows to posts on social media pages. You may read posts like that and think ‘What’s in it for me?’. This is a good question: What benefits does volunteering have to YOU? There are a number of different ways that volunteering can change your life.
If you like to keep fit then believe it or not, volunteering might be perfect for you. Save money on that expensive gym membership and trade a sweaty, dismal room full of exercise equipment with a canal side view of the stunning countryside where you can tone up those muscles whilst knowing that you are making a difference to the environment around you. Volunteering opportunities with the Canal and River Trust and other environmental organisations allow for you to maintain a healthy lifestyle through a variety of their jobs such as hedge laying, pond weed clearing and locking. That six pack will be coming through in no time!
When you’re looking for a new job, an employer will always ask you about “What makes you stand out above everyone else”. But, do you know what really makes you stand out above the competition? Voluntary experience, that’s what. Not only does voluntary work allow you to show off a variety of new skills that you have learnt which may make you perfect for the job which they are advertising for, but it also shows that you are a selfless and caring person who is willing to give up your free time for the benefit of others: a golden quality, making you a golden person to join their team.
I bet there are a lot of things that you have never done before but have always wanted to try. Writing articles, caring for animals, arts and crafts or maybe been being a part of a radio show. They all seem like pretty exciting things to try, right? Not only does volunteering allow you the chance to try new things that you might never have done before but you also manage to learn a new range of skills through these ventures, including time management, creativity, planning, organisation and so much more. All of these skills can be transferred into the work place and life adventures in general which, all in all, broaden your capabilities and make you the most employable. Really, it’s an offer you can’t refuse! According to a recent survey by The Times, over 50% of the British public would identify themselves as shy. Are you one of these people? Do you want to do something about it? A great way to build up your confidence is to take on a new opportunity with a voluntary scheme where you will be able to try things which will push you more out of your comfort zone.
If you think that you’re physically fit enough, your mind is just where you want it to be and you don’t need to be any more confident- meaning you’re wondering what else voluntary work could possibly offer to you then I have just the answer for you. Friends, that’s what it can offer you. Yes, maybe you do have friends now but you can never have too many friends! Whether it be through socialising with customers at a charity shop, fellow volunteers on a litter picking walk or even striking up (a rather one sided) conversation with some furry friends at an animal shelter, voluntary work provides the perfect opportunity for you to get to know a wider variety of people with a concoction of marvellous stories, wisdom and lots of laughter to share with you. The friendships you make through opportunities like this will bind you for life and you never know who you might meet along the way…
Do I really need to say any more? If you have some free time and you’re looking to better your mental health, physical fitness, employability or maybe just to make new friends and take up a new hobby then volunteering is absolutely the thing for you. There are hundreds of different options out there with organisations wanting to take all kinds of different people on, so you are bound to find something perfect for you. If I have persuaded you enough to want to pursue a volunteering position, you can visit https://do-it.org/ which will allow for you to search for voluntary opportunities within your local area.