Here are nine reasons why volunteering is the New Year’s Resolution to make (and keep) in 2019.
1. You can contribute to a cause that you care about
“The broadest, and maybe the most meaningful definition of volunteering: Doing more than you have to because you want to, in a cause you consider good.” – Ivan Scheier
Whether your chosen cause relates to supporting education, health, sports or arts and culture charities, tackling homelessness or other equally worthy causes, you can find a range of non-profits looking for volunteers on icaewvolunteers.com
2. You will be doing good
“What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good.” — Aristotle
While Aristotle may have said this more than 2,300 years ago it rings as true today. Wanting to do good is the most common reason people give for volunteering – in 2017/18 46% of people gave this as their motive. Volunteers make an incredibly important difference to charities and voluntary organisations across the UK – many rely on them to keep going.
3. Use your skills to make a positive difference
Your financial expertise and the skills that you use on a daily basis in your working life can be of great benefit and help make a real difference to not-for-profit organisations.
Read our blog from Joe Ryan on how his skills help him in his role on the audit committee for the Salvation Army.
4. It’s good for your health and wellbeing
“The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.” — Helen Keller
A range of research has demonstrated that volunteering can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing. A study led by the University of Exeter Medical School in 2013 showed that volunteering can improve mental health and help you live longer. The NHS recognises that helping and supporting others is good for mental wellbeing, recommending volunteering as a way to achieve this.
5. Work as a team to achieve a worthwhile goal
Team work is important in the majority of job roles and so the experience you will get of doing this while volunteering will be CV enhancing. Furthermore it can be very enjoyable - and research has shown that working as a team to achieve a goal can have a positive impact for your mental health.
Mary Hardy gives insight into board meetings at CABA and the lively discussions that can ensue to decide the best way forward for the charity.
6. Meet new people
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, whether they are the people you’re supporting or others that you’re volunteering with. It provides a great opportunity to make new friends outside of your everyday social circle and feel part of a wider community.
7. Try something new
There are many diverse volunteer opportunities out there – while some of them may be connected to your day job, others may be something completely different. Either way you will find yourself in an new environment, approaching issues from a different perspective – you may feel out of your comfort zone to start with but that can be a good thing.
Read our blog from Lynn Cadman where she reflects on her experience as a new trustee on a charity board.
8. Learn new skills and boost your career
Volunteering will not only give you the opportunity to enhance existing skills but will also mean you learn new ones and gain experience in a different sector.
Read our blog from Sam Butler who talks about how the additional skills and experience he’s gained from being a school governor are one of the rewards of the role.
9. Worthwhile way to spend your time
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
Doing something to support others is undeniably an important and worthwhile way to spend your time. However much time you have to spare there will be a volunteering opportunity to suit. Start your search today on icaewvolunteers.com