R2R Blog: Why Volunteer?

New Year, New Feature! Welcome to the first entry of the Room to Reward Blog! And where better to start than with the amazing people our whole initiative was created to say ‘thank you’ to. That’s right, we’re talking about volunteering. When to do it, where to do it, why to do it…it’s all here.

Reasons to Volunteer

People volunteer in all manner of different ways, and for all manner of different reasons. Some see it as a social opportunity, some as a way to develop new skills, others to boost UCAS applications and the like. Whatever the reason, the act of giving something back can have huge, life-changing benefits for both the volunteers themselves and the beneficiaries of their support.

The benefits of volunteering #1 – meet people and make connections

Volunteering naturally brings you together with other people who have a shared interest. It’s a great way of making new friends and strengthening existing bonds. Also, volunteering gives you the chance to meet people who you may otherwise never come across. Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes, ages and backgrounds – you never know who you might meet!

The benefits of volunteering #2 – it’s good for you

Doing good feels good. One of the best side-effects of volunteering is the satisfaction from making a positive difference. As well as a warm fuzzy feeling inside, volunteering has numerous practical health benefits, including:

  • Improving overall psychological well-being – helping combat stress, anxiety etc.
  • Keeping you physically healthy
  • Increasing self confidence through a sense of purpose and accomplishment

At Room to Reward, we have been privileged to read about the genuinely life-changing impact volunteering has had on the Hidden Heroes themselves, as well as the charities and those who benefit from their efforts.

The benefits of volunteering #3 – it can help climb that career ladder

We all remember being told how good volunteering looks on a UCAS application. It can also help in later career advancement. Volunteering gives you an opportunity to learn new tricks, develop existing skills and meet people who may be in a position to help. Volunteering is also a goldmine for stories and experiences that will help you stand out from the crowd.

The benefits of volunteering #4 – It’s great – and it’s important

There are millions of people out there who are dependent on the support of charities. In turn, these charities rely on the time, skill and dedication of their volunteers to function. We simply can’t count the number of nominations we’ve received that say: ‘without our volunteers, we simply couldn’t do what we do.’

This impact on society and positive difference made to the lives of those who need it is the single biggest reason to volunteer. The ‘Where Volunteering Begins’ videos from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations say it all:

See the whole film for each story here.

For more information on how to get into volunteering, visit: www.ncvo.org.uk/ncvo-volunteeringiwanttovolunteer

Do you know an amazing volunteer who deserves a break? Nominate them here!