Volunteer your time to help others and yourself

Volunteering and helping others is not just hugely satisfying, it can also help you make friends and learn new skills.

As well as benefitting the wider community and making a difference to the organisation, it should also make you feel pretty good about yourself.

It can also teach you skills that are invaluable to potential employers and let’s be honest it will also look good on your CV.

There is a wide range of charities and groups that are always on the lookout for extra pairs of hands, of all ages, even if you can only spare a couple of hours a week.

When considering where to volunteer, think about what you feel most strongly about and then research the different charities and groups in that area in the community. 

Depending on the organisation you choose, you could volunteer in the evenings, at weekends or in the holidays.

If you go to college or university, you may be able to fit time for volunteering around your studies or job.

Opportunities can include activities such as befriending, helping at events, fundraising, conservation activities, providing support to children and older people.

You can make a difference to the lives of others, help the environment, or help others less fortunate or without a voice.

As well as volunteering close to home, you could also consider lending a hand overseas.

There are many charities on the lookout for extra help with projects abroad such as building schools for disadvantaged people.

Volunteering can help you gain confidence by giving you the opportunity to try something new and build a real sense of achievement.

It can help you feel part of something outside of your friends and family and you will meet lots of different people. 

It will make you feel valued and part of a team.

By volunteering, you are doing what you can in order to improve the environment around you.

Through volunteering you can develop skills for the workplace from organisational and time management to communication and the ability to work with different age groups. 

There may also give you a route to earn qualifications.

A lot of non-profit organisations will offer training to volunteers, which often leads to accreditation too.

It can also be a great way to get work experience in your chosen career field and get an insight into the profession.

Employers will be impressed that you’ve shown initiative by getting some hands-on experience.

As well as looking good on your UCAS personal statement, if you are considering going to university, it will help your CV to stand out too because it proves you can think independently and that you’ve shown commitment by getting unpaid work.

NCVO, which champions the voluntary sector and volunteering, says:

“Volunteering can make a real difference to your own life and the lives of those around you.

“People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. 

For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them.

“For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge.

“Regardless of the motivation, what unites them all is that they find it both challenging and rewarding.”

For more information about volunteering people can visit the website www.ncvo.org.uk