Volunteering can have a positive impact on other people, your community as a whole and also be one of the most self-rewarding hobbies that you can do. There are many social, emotional and physical benefits associated with volunteering, some of which we have listed here:
- Social - volunteering often keeps you in regular contact with others, which makes it a great way to build new social networks with like-minded people who share similar interests and values.
- Emotional - benefits include a reduced level of stress, increased confidence, a sense of purpose and inclusion, as well as reduced feelings of loneliness whilst helping to keep your brain active.
- Physical - even if you’re not doing labour-intensive volunteering, many people say that volunteering can help to lower blood pressure and ultimately result in a longer lifespan.
- Personal - giving your time and energy for the benefit of others can be extremely satisfying and provide a sense of fulfillment. ‘The more we give, the happier we feel’ is regularly the case when it comes to volunteering.
- Community - the community is often one of the main beneficiaries of volunteering, as it assists the ongoing delivery of important community services, plus areas such as sports and recreation, arts and education, and charities.
- Fun - try to choose a volunteering activity that you find fun, whether it’s helping out at your local sporting club, teaching an art class or assisting at a gardening working bee. If you’re volunteering in an area that you’re unfamiliar with, it can also be a great way to discover new passions and interests while making a valuable contribution to your community.
Not sure how to volunteer?
If you would like to volunteer but are unsure how your resources could best be used, Volunteering Australia can match people who are interested in volunteering with appropriate opportunities. To find out more, visit volunteeringaustralia.org.