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Volunteering is a great thing to do with our spare time. It’s fun, fulfilling, and rewarding. And with more than one in five people reporting that they volunteer at least once a month, it’s something that lots of us are doing.

But beyond all the obvious reasons, why exactly should you volunteer? Well, there are lots of advantages to giving our time to a worthy cause, both for ourselves and the community in general. And though we won’t cover them all today, here are 5 benefits of volunteering that show what a truly worthy pursuit it is. . .

Volunteering develops new skills

Volunteering presents amazing opportunities to learn new skills in easygoing and informal environments.

In voluntary positions, due to the lack of financial incentive, there’s often no performance-based pressure whatsoever. This creates a completely safe environment in which to explore new skills and creative pursuits without fear of judgement. 

Helps build experience

Aside from allowing you to learn new skills from scratch, volunteering also lets you develop existing skills in order to build experience. 

Volunteering can give your CV an enormous boost. But it’s also a fun and rewarding way to simply build on skills that you’d like to develop.

Makes you feel connected to a cause

It’s incredibly important that we feel connected to something bigger than ourselves. It gives us a sense of perspective and purpose, and can really add a lot of extra meaning to our lives.

Volunteering allows us to get out into our communities and really make an impact. And by helping out in even the smallest ways we can come to feel more connected to our towns, cities, and neighbours.

Helps you make friends and expand your network 

You’ll meet all sorts of people through volunteering. Some of them might turn into lifelong friends, and others could become valuable contacts who may even help you progress in your career.

It’s especially powerful if you’re new to an area. By volunteering in an unfamiliar place, not only will you meet locals and make friends, but you’ll feel immediately connected to your new location and its residents.

It’s is good for the mind

Volunteering can be an incredibly effective antidote to stress and anxiety. It can help take your mind off your current worries by forcing you to focus on something completely different. And due to the selfless nature of most voluntary positions, they offer a unique and profoundly effective way of getting out of our heads for a little while.

On top of this, learning and applying new skills through volunteering can help to keep our brains active and curious. And volunteering with animals could be especially effective when it comes to mental wellbeing.

What’s more, you might even find that after volunteering for a short while you’ll start to feel more self-confident.

Get involved!

There are lots of ways to get involved and volunteer in your local community. For general positions you can check out do-it.org, where you’ll find a huge variety of positions in all sorts of areas.