The Power of Giving Back: Mental Health Benefits of Volunteering | Volunteers’ Week 2024

Happy Volunteering Week 2024! Embrace the joy of giving back and experience the profound benefits it brings. Volunteering offers countless benefits that extend beyond just helping others.  

According to a national survey by the NCVO, volunteers report:  

  • experiencing enjoyment,  
  • satisfaction from making a difference,  
  • forming new friendships,  
  • enhanced employment prospects  
  • improved mental and physical health. 

77% of volunteers reported that volunteering improved their mental health and wellbeing. No matter your age or the size of your contribution, evidence shows that volunteering can positively impact your health.  

Research indicates that volunteering can lead to lower rates of depression and anxiety, particularly for those aged 65 and older. The joy and satisfaction derived from volunteering reduce stress, promote relaxation, and increase positivity. Acts of kindness are linked to enhanced feelings of well-being. 

 Volunteering provides a sense of belonging, purpose and meaning. Feeling appreciated by those you help can boost your confidence and self-esteem. It allows you to take pride in your skills while benefiting others. Often, people choose causes close to their hearts, amplifying feelings of happiness and optimism.  

 Additionally, volunteering combats social isolation. Many reports highlight how volunteering helps individuals form friendships with like-minded people. The face-to-face interactions involved in many volunteer activities lead to increased social engagement. 

 A significant aspect of volunteering’s mental health benefits is the ripple effect of kindness. Helping others creates a positive cycle, encouraging more acts of kindness and fostering a supportive community. A kinder world starts with individual commitments to kindness in our words and actions. 

Moreover, volunteering has a positive impact on physical health, which further enhances mental well-being. Volunteers often find themselves more active as they engage in helping others. 

To maximise the mental health benefits of volunteering, choose activities you enjoy while considering the needs of those you help. Start small to ensure you don’t stretch yourself too thin. Prioritise self-care so you can effectively support others. 

Interested in volunteering? Explore our free online learning platform, where you’ll find a variety of self-paced courses upon registering on our website.

Start with this introductory course to get you going! If you’re more advanced, browse through our list of courses and pick one you like!

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