Volunteering is a vital part of community life, giving people the chance to help a good cause whilst also developing their personal skills. It involves giving some of your spare time to do something of benefit to others. Volunteering opportunities are varied – mentoring, arts, teaching, counselling, stewarding events, working with animals, charity shop work, the possibilities are endless!
Are you currently considering volunteering? Do you fancy taking on a new challenge? Here’s five reasons why you should sign up to volunteer with an organisation today.
1. You’re giving back to the community
Volunteering is all about helping a good cause. Whether it’s helping out at your local charity shop, working with animals, or even going abroad to teach, every act of volunteering gives something back to the community. Volunteering is rewarding and can advance causes that are important to you. Whether it’s a few hours a week, or a solid two week placement, your time is precious to the cause. Giving your time to others will also make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
2. You gain life skills, experience and confidence
As a volunteer, you will gain life skills which will prove to be invaluable to your CV and future work places. For example, working as a volunteer in a charity shop will give you retail experience, including handling money, till work and stocktaking. It will also give you experience in team work and using your own initiative, which will no doubt allow you to grow in confidence too. Wherever you volunteer, you’re guaranteed to experience something new with every shift, which will also enhance you as a person.
3. It’s a chance to put your current skills to work
Whilst you’re learning new skills as a volunteer, there’s often an opportunity for you to transfer your current skills to help the organisation too. Love the internet? Many charities are now on social media so there might be a chance for you to use your knowledge to help them develop and grow online. Have an interest in fashion? If you volunteer in a charity shop, ask if you can help with the window displays or changing the mannequins. Good at listening? Offering your time to a counselling service might suit you perfectly.
4. Opportunity to mix with a variety of people
With every voluntary organisation, there is an opportunity to meet an array of new people. Every volunteer has a story to tell, and it’s great to be in an environment with people of different ages and backgrounds. Some of these people might just end up being lifelong friends! Of course, you’ll come into contact with other new people too. These can include customers, who will be some of the most eclectic people you’ve ever met in your life. Whilst you might not get to know these people as well as your fellow volunteers, they will still provide you with some great stories.
5. It’s fun!
Not only is volunteering rewarding in terms of enhancing your skills and giving back to the community, it’s also a whole heap of fun! No two days are the same. Teaching abroad? Each day will provide you with something new to teach and something unique to learn. Volunteering in a charity shop? Every bag of donations is a mystery – you will definitely encounter the weird, wonderful and damn right wacky. The unknown elements to each day is what makes volunteering most fun.
Are you a volunteer? Let us know your volunteering stories on Twitter @Fuzzable