What is volunteering?
Volunteering is spending your time doing something to benefit other people and/or the environment. Volunteering can be a formal arrangement with the local charity, e.g. volunteering 8 hours a week with a helpline, or it can be a more informal arrangement which you might not realise is volunteering, e.g. dropping into an elderly neighbour once a week to check if they need any shopping. Volunteering is a something that you are free to decide to do or not.
Volunteering helps other people but it can also help you!
Volunteering can help you:
- meet new people
- develop new skills
- try out new activities
- have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing
- boost your confidence.
Volunteering can help you move towards employment as you gain experience that can be transferable to the workplace. It can also be an opportunity to try something different.
You can find information about the health benefits of volunteering on the NHS choices website, which includes research findings about the impact on depression and isolation.