It’s Volunteers Week 2018!
Volunteers’ Week is a time for people to say thank you for the fantastic contribution that volunteers make to our communities every day. During this week, hundreds of events and celebrations take place across the country, saying thank you to recognise their invaluable and diverse contribution to the UK. Volunteers’ Week is also a great opportunity to raise awareness of why volunteers are important to help more people get involved in volunteering opportunities to support their communities.
Why are volunteers important?
The estimated value of volunteers helping UK charities is £22.6bn which is a huge amount of money and can really improve the work that charities can do to support people. People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge.
As well as helping others, volunteering has been shown to improve volunteers’ wellbeing too. Studies have identified that helping others increases happiness and can improve both our mental and physical health. Such improvements can benefit you, your family and your community. As well as improving health, volunteering can be a great way to develop and update skills, learn more about career options and make friends.
How can you start volunteering?
Volunteers are at the heart of many organisations, in particular charities, so if you are looking to start volunteering it might be worth getting in touch with one of your local charities to see what opportunities they may have available. There are also several options online to find local volunteering opportunities which have been listed below:
- do-it.org – A national website where local organisations can advertise their opportunities.
- vInspired.com – A national website where local organisations can advertise their opportunities.
- volunteersunderland.org – A local website ran by VCAS where organisations advertise their volunteering opportunities.