There is strong evidence that volunteering brings benefits to both the person volunteering and the people/organisations they support. It can provide the individual with a sense of purpose and allow them to form new relationships whilst making a considerable difference to people’s lives.
When the word ‘volunteering’ is brought up the first image that comes to mind for many people is caring for the elderly or sick and such tasks can seem intimidating. However, there is an extensive variety of volunteering roles out there to suit everyone’s skills/interests and training will routinely be offered.
Some of the other numerous benefits of volunteering include:
- Being able to help others
- Contributing to your community
- Finding a sense of purpose
- Socialising with people you may not otherwise get the chance to meet
- Learning new skills
- Boosting employment prospects
A few examples of possible volunteering roles:
- Listening to problems on a helpline
- Mentoring young people
- Helping to gather information for local history projects
- Socialising with people who might ordinarily find it difficult to meet others
- Office based administrative support
- Assisting at Brownie or Scouts clubs
- Community gardening
- Caring for animals at rehoming centres
Dedicating a portion of your free time to unpaid work need not take up all of your free time and you can choose whether you wish to volunteer for a national scheme or a local community lead project.
If you are interested in volunteering locally then the Cambridge & District Volunteer Centre may be the point of contact for you. With over 300 volunteering opportunities across more than 250 local organisations (charities, statutory organisations such as hospitals and social services and community groups) there is likely to be something of interest for everyone.
For further volunteering databases and local opportunities please refer to the links below.
|University of Cambridge volunteering|
|Cambridge Area 14-19 Partnership|
|Macmillan Cancer Support|