Being a volunteer can provide you with a number of benefits, including:
- Better physical and mental health – depending on what your volunteering role is, it may help to get you out more. Interacting with others is beneficial for your mental health as is facing new challenges and helping others.
- Giving you a sense of purpose – we all need a reason to get out of bed each day. Volunteering can give you a new identity and new responsibilities. It can help you to feel needed. You will be making a difference to the life of family and friends carers which will give you a great sense of satisfaction.
- Learning new skills – Your volunteer role may involve using telephone, office, keyboard, research, organisational and listening skills. This can help you gain confidence in your own abilities as well as in new areas. It may also help you gain the experience you need to start a new career or try a change of direction or simply develop your role as a volunteer.
- Developing and sharing your existing skills – we all have different skills to offer, not only from our work experience but general life skills from our everyday experiences which will be different for everyone. You may be able to develop personal skills where you haven’t had the opportunity before.
- Meeting new people – you may be moving into a new era, for example having just retired, finished education or been recently bereaved. Whether you’re feeling lonely or would just like to meet new people, you will find there is no ‘typical ‘volunteer’. You will meet volunteers of different ages, genders, from varying cultures and with different backgrounds who you may never have met otherwise.
- Connecting with your local community – perhaps you have worked or studied out of the area, so this is a chance to gain a greater knowledge of West Sussex and the people who live and work here.
- ‘Giving back’ – you may have received help from CSWS or another charity and would like to help others in similar situations or simply like a chance to give something back to your local community.
- Working flexibly to fit in with your other commitments and needs – Some people like to volunteer if they feel unable to take on paid roles, perhaps due to recent life events, health issues or having been out of the workplace for some time. Others find it fits in well around family or work commitments and can feel like a break from everyday demands. Volunteering often feels less pressurised than paid work – it is a choice. You can usually choose hours to suit your circumstances. Or you may not need to take on paid work and simply want a way to keep yourself occupied.
Whatever your reasons are for volunteering, Carers Support West Sussex will have a place for you.