Volunteering: Helping Yourself by Helping Others

Volunteering: Helping Yourself by Helping Others – Blog Post #14

Published on Wednesday 12th February 2024 by Susan Davidson

I’m Susan, the Digital & Community Engagement Coordinator for How Are You Peterborough. As well as my full-time job, I like to volunteer and give a few hours here and there to causes I feel are important to support. Why do I do it? Well, mostly because it feels good!

It turns out that there’s research that shows that volunteering is a great way to boost your wellbeing. It gives people a sense of purpose, it is often sociable (it’s an excellent way to meet people) and can sometimes involve some sort of physical activity. And if your volunteering role gets you out of the house and in amongst nature, that’s another spoke in the wellbeing wheel. For people who are retired it can be a great way to keep physically, mentally and socially active; for those looking for work, volunteering can also help build skills, confidence and experiences to put on your CV. I asked my friend Alison why she volunteers, and she had this to say. (Video to left)

There are many organisations, groups and activities local to you that are looking for volunteers to help with a wide range of tasks. For example, public libraries rely on volunteers to support some of the services and activities they offer (including Cambridgeshire Libraries’ Digital Buddies scheme and Library at Home service).


Other examples of volunteering roles and tasks include:

❤️ administration (answering phones; IT support; organising paperwork and finance)

🧡 help to run activities (making tea/coffee for participants; registering attendees; chatting to people)

💛 looking after buildings and/or outside spaces (gardening; cleaning)

💚 driving (helping people who can’t access public transport to attend medical appointments; delivering essential supplies or equipment).

Even if you can’t commit regular time for volunteering, there are one-off volunteering activities – for example, annual community litter-picking or conservation projects. You can find organisations looking for volunteers on the How Are You websites on this link: How Are You Cambridgeshire and Peterborough- Volunteering

In addition to contacting organisations directly, there are some online volunteering platforms where you can search for opportunities that you might like. In Peterborough this is Go-ViP (Volunteering in Peterborough), and for the rest of Cambridgeshire it’s Volunteer Cambs.

So, I’d encourage you to find something and give it a go – help yourself by helping others!

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