Volunteering can be described as giving your time and energy freely and by choice without concern for financial gain. It can describe hundreds of different activities that people choose to do to benefit or support others in the community. The word volunteering is used for a range of activities such as community service, self-help, charity, neighbourliness, citizenship, public service, community action, community involvement, trustee, member, helper.
People volunteer at different times of their lives for different reasons:
- you might want to give something back to your local community or a particular group which helped you at a difficult time in your life
- you might feel isolated and want to meet new friends
- you may be unemployed/looking for a new career direction/have been made redundant so want to learn new skills and keep yourself active
- you could have experiences and skills you’d like to pass on to others.
It’s flexible - you decide how much you want to do and when, taking into account the other commitments you have in your life.
Although you will not be paid, there are other rewards for volunteering:
- building up confidence and self-esteem
- meeting people in similar circumstances
- learning transferable skills
- trying out new experiences
- helping others as well as yourself
- and very often, having a lot of fun!