1. Make new connections
Whether you’re new to the area or you’ve lived there for years, volunteering strengthens your ties to
the community, broadens your support network and is a good way to meet people with common interests.
Don’t dismiss it if you’re shy – it provides an opportunity to develop your social skills among people who not only share your interests, but can also help you to make more like-minded contacts.
2. Boosts endorphins
We’re hardwired to give to others, and the more we give, the happier we feel.
In fact, volunteering releases endorphins in the brain, leading to a ‘helper’s high’.
There’s plenty of evidence linking volunteering to wellbeing. A survey of 3351 volunteers found that 94 per cent of participants who had volunteered in the past year said that it improved their mood, and 96 per cent said it enhanced their sense of purpose.
3. Advance your career
As well as benefiting you personally, volunteering has advantages professionally.
If you’re just coming into the workforce or considering a change of career, it can give you a taste of what to expect from a job and is a good way to gain valuable work experience.
If you’re already well-established in your career, volunteering can offer the chance to polish existing skills or develop new ones, like teamwork and problem solving.
Words: Julia Braybrook