So, if you’ve ever wondered whether volunteering could be for you, take a look at our eight great reasons to get involved
1. Gain confidence
“As a volunteer, there's no pressure to have any professional skills. So it’s a great opportunity to try out new things in an environment where help and guidance are always available. Interacting with other volunteers as well as customers can help boost your self-confidence,” said Claire Whittaker, from Oxfam
Whatever your age, volunteering is a great booster for your confidence. It may take you out of your comfort zone initially, especially if you are working alongside new people or in a new area; but give it a few weeks and your confidence will really take off.
2. Improve your mental health
By feeling purposeful we are less likely to worry about or overthink the smaller things in life and find a greater appreciation for what is important.
“Giving to others and becoming part of the huge voluntary sector can reduce stress, combat depression and ultimately provide you with a greater sense of purpose in your life,” said Julia Heward from, Muck In
3. Make a difference
If you’ve asked yourself ‘how does volunteering help the community?’ then the short answer is “in countless ways!” There are so many opportunities get involved and make a difference, whether that’s working with an existing charity or community group or starting your own project.
“Sometimes it can be difficult to take a moment to appreciate and give back to society because of how fast paced our professional and personal lives may be,” said Soni Kaur, from We Make Change. “Taking some time, whether that be two or eight hours a week, to volunteer for a cause you care about, can make the biggest difference to society.”
4. Meet new people
It can sometimes be difficult to meet new people as an adult, but finding your kind of people within your community can be very rewarding.
“Volunteering can be a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded people, form connections with others and become part of a larger community. Small NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisation) can feel like a second family, with everyone working passionately towards the same goal, supporting one another,” said Hannah Jackson, from the World Inspiring Network.
5. Learn new skills and boost your CV
Whether you’re helping out with a small, local community gardening project or a larger organisation that provides more formal training, you will undoubtedly learn new skills and could even discover a new hobby or passion when volunteering.
Indeed.com explains: “These skills can help prepare you for a career in what you're interested in. For example, if you're a volunteer who helps plan initiatives, you can learn how to manage a project, build a schedule and fundraise. You can put this experience and skills on your CV.”
6. Challenge yourself
Ever felt like you’re in a bit of a rut? Well, you’re certainly not alone. We can all find ourselves stuck in a routine and craving something fresh and challenging to pull us out of it. Volunteering is a great way to see how far you can go to create a meaningful impact in your local area.
The Volunteer’s Week website is a great place to start your journey towards giving back and feeling the sense of accomplishment that comes with meeting a new challenge.
7. Get to know your area
If you’ve moved to a new place, like many of our Redrow homeowners have, helping out in your local community is a brilliant way to get to know the area and its people. If you’re in a new area and you don’t know where to start looking for opportunities, then visit your nearest volunteer centre in England or Wales.
Our Thames Valley team recently got to know the area around their Oxford offices a little better when they teamed up with a group of existing volunteers to transform an area of pathway along Hinksey Heights Nature Trail. The group of seven volunteers, including some from our sister company Harrow Estates, improved a slippery sloped area by creating 17 new gravel lined steps, along with other improvements – a great way to use their volunteer days!
8. Have fun!
According to the Helpguide.org, volunteering “brings fun and fulfilment to your life” and is a “fun and easy way to explore your interests and passions”. If you can find volunteer work that is meaningful and interesting, then it can be an enjoyable escape from your day-to-day routine of work, school, or family commitments. It could also provide the opportunity to explore your creativity, undertake outdoor work, become more physically active, or provide you with renewed motivation that will filter though to all areas of your life.
Benefits of volunteering for organisations in your area
We’re also shining a spotlight this week on some of the charities and organisations that we’ve had the pleasure of working with, which rely on the support of some amazing volunteers around the country. Why not connect with one of them today to see how you could make a difference?
The Community Network and Outreach Service is a not-for-profit Community Hub that supports all members of the community and other services and agencies in need. Based in Leyland and set up at the start of the Covid pandemic, the group and its volunteers run support groups as well as providing food and care packs.
We recently provided the network with £500 towards play equipment for its toddler group play sessions
The Northwich Community First Responders are a local group of volunteers who are trained and dispatched by the ambulance service to calls within the Hartford and Northwich areas for the highest priority of patients, such as cardiac and respiratory arrests as well as unconscious people.
We provided funds recently for the group to buy six coats to keep volunteers warm and dry when responding to emergency calls.
The West Mercia Search and Rescue group attends lifesaving missions, including finding missing people in floods and responding to crises alongside emergency services. Its is reliant on volunteers only, with no paid members of staff.
We’ve bought the team brand new lifejackets to continue to support the rescue group’s lifesaving missions.
LondonUnitas supports North London’s young people aged eight to 19 - and those up to 25 with additional needs – and provides support and training opportunities for volunteers. The charity provides the three things young people deserve and need; somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to.
We recently presented a grant of £25,000 to Unitas Youth Zone.
Essex (and nationally)
Brainwave unites the disciplines of physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and learning development, to help children reach their potential. The charity supports children with disabilities to achieve greater independence. They have volunteering opportunities available in Essex and across the country.
Our Eastern division has raised £20,300 in support of Brainwave, their chosen charity for the past two years.
The NSPCC and Childline played an incredible role during the pandemic, and now more than ever it is important for young people to have somewhere to reach out to when they need help or some words of encouragement. Volunteer counsellors receive training sessions over 11 weeks and volunteer switch-boarders also have training sessions before they get started.
Redrow is proud to support Childline in its One Unforgettable Day initiative, where individuals or businesses pledge £30,000 to run Childline for a day.