Advent Calendar – 24 December: Why would you choose to volunteer?
Our Rural Housing Enabler, Bev Harding-Rennie talks about the many reasons you might want to consider volunteering…
Choosing to volunteer gives you the opportunity to become more involved in your local community, to give something back to a charity that has made a difference to your life or that of your loved ones, and to champion a cause close to your heart. Of course it also brings significant benefits to the charity you chose to work with, enabling them to do more and to reach more people, directly benefiting those people or causes that your chosen charity supports.
Whilst these are all great reasons to volunteer, there are other, more everyday reasons why you might want to consider giving up some of your time to do this.
Volunteering can provide you with great opportunities to meet new people, with time to talk with others, share experiences and connect with people you perhaps otherwise would not have met. This could be with other volunteers working on the same project, or with people supported by the charity that you are working with, as part of your volunteer role.
Volunteering can give you chances to use your skills and experience in a completely different way to that of your everyday job. This could include adapting to different ways of communicating in different or difficult circumstances, or drawing on your existing knowledge and team working skills when trying to solve a problem.
It also opens up different opportunities to develop your skills, including skills that you perhaps didn’t know you had. I can particularly relate this, with my new found skills in balloon modelling, who knew? On the flip side volunteering has definitely confirmed that cake decorating is not my forte!
Volunteering can also often provide you with a sense of perspective, with time away from your everyday life and responsibilities, to focus on something, or someone else completely. Hopefully it can also give you a sense of achievement in completing a particular task, or simply being able to go home feeling that you have contributed, in some small way, to making a difference.
There are lots of different volunteering opportunities across Hampshire to suit different skills and areas of interest, as well the time that you have available, no matter how short.
Bev volunteers with Friends of the Family, a local charity supporting families in Winchester and the surrounding area. Friends of the Family are Action Hampshire’s November Member of the month