If you are fit, well and healthy, and are not needing to self-isolate – due to virus symptoms, because you share a house with someone showing symptoms, because you are pregnant or vulnerable or need to protect a vulnerable person (see the government’s guidelines) – why not volunteer in the community?
Many essential services are overloaded at the moment and need volunteers because of coronavirus. We highlight 5 excellent reasons why volunteering can be good for you.
1. It could make you happier and healthier
Volunteering fulfils 4 of the 5 NHS’s 5 steps to wellbeing. These steps include connecting with people, being physically active, learning new skills and giving to others.
Volunteering activities such as doing a vulnerable person’s shopping would mean that you would meet new people. You will also have the opportunity to go out and get some fresh air and extra exercise.
It will enable the person you are helping to be able to live more comfortably and may relieve some stress for them. The impact you have had on their life may give you a feeling of purpose and self-worth.
2. You will develop new skills
Even if you aren’t volunteering in the field in which you would like to eventually work, volunteering will enable you to practise skills like communication and problem solving.
Understanding others’ needs will help you develop empathy as you meet people from different backgrounds who you may not naturally develop relationships with. These skills will make you more effective as an employee and are vital in a manager.
3. You will be an important member of your community and the country
Helping those who need it most is vital to a cohesive community. You will develop community relationships and your local networks. The benefit of your effort will contribute to the national effort to fight coronavirus.
4. It can fit into any schedule
Volunteering can be fitted in around any schedule and can often be done at a time to suit you. It will give you variety to your daily routine. And whether you have done one task a week, or one a day you know that you have made a difference to someone’s life and the national effort.
5. It could boost your career
The new skills and experiences you have will be a great addition to your CV. You will be able to give examples from your volunteering in job interviews. In fact 82% of employers said that they would be more likely to choose a candidate with volunteering on their CV. *
“At Deloitte, we have experienced the importance of volunteering and understand that it helps build skill sets that are critical to developing wellrounded leaders across our organization.” Doug Marshall Director, Corporate Citizenship Deloitte Services LP *
How can I find out about local volunteering?
You can find a local group to volunteer with on Coronavirus mutual aid. You put in your postcode and it will show you the local groups operating. There are several in the Guildford area – but wherever you are in the UK – it’s likely there will be a group close by.
Other places to look for volunteering opportunities include
- Community Support volunteer in Guildford a Facebook group covering Stoughton and Guildford is advertising on Surrey Pathfinder for community volunteers
- Guildford Borough Council wellbeing team you can offer to help on this Facebook group
- NHS Volunteer Responders recruiting for volunteers to help in the community
- Surrey Pathfinder search for volunteering in ‘opportunity type’
- Surrey Volunteering on the Student Union page
- https://do-it.org/ A database of voluntary work by postcode
The year 2020 will go down in history. By volunteering to help – not only will you gain new skills, boost your career and develop community relationships – you will also be able to tell your grandchildren the part you played in helping the nation.