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    Why Volunteer?

    If you’re the type of person who likes to give back to your community or even if you’re a fresh-faced college graduate looking for ways to make a breakthrough into your dream job then you may have thought about taking part in a volunteer programme. With over 169 thousand charities and non-profit organisations operating in the UK the demand for volunteers is higher than ever.

    Despite us living in the age of technology, it can be a very overwhelming experience for charities to set up and maintain an online presence. This is where your knowledge in the field can become invaluable and by helping these charities to set up a website and a digital media presence you can drastically increase their exposure to larger audiences who are also willing to make a difference.

    If you’re still sitting on the fence then here are a few benefits to consider:

    Benefits of Volunteering

    1. Meet new people in your community 

    People are social creatures and even the most introverted of us crave interaction with others at some point. Being a part of a team of like-minded individuals can help form bonds and provide you with a life-changing experience.

    You’re certain to meet a wide variety of different people on your volunteering adventure and who knows, you might even make some life-long friends along the way!

    2. Gain insight into other ways of life

    Whether it’s a different part of a community you’re already familiar with or a rural country thousands of kilometres away from you, volunteering will show you that people truly do experience life in their own unique ways. This invaluable experience will put you in contact with people from every walk of life, teaching you life lessons and exposing you to a multitude of other cultures.

    3. Help find a sense of purpose to make yourself happier

    I know this one may sound like a bit of a stretch but volunteering can boost your feelings of accomplishment and increase your overall happiness.

    Throughout your life, you’ve developed social and professional skills that promote your personal achievement. Using those skills for a wider, communal impact can be even more fulfilling. Volunteering will enrich your life and give you a broader purpose and can give you a boost of motivation. The benefits don’t stop here, researchers also theorise that the social connections you make through volunteering can improve your mental health as well.

    4. Boost your self-esteem

    Now that we know how volunteer work can improve your happiness let’s take a look at how it can boost your self-esteem as well.

    The more time you spend honing your skills and gaining knowledge the more you will have to be proud of. It’s not just current skills that you can work on but you also have the opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone and learn something completely new.

    5. Improve your professional résumé

    To cut a long story short, volunteering can provide you with the skills and experience needed for college graduates to enter the working world a lot easier. Through your volunteer experiences, you have a chance to show that you’re interested in things bigger than yourself, and you are willing to take action to make the changes you want in the world—and that will always help you shine through the competition.

    6. Accrue the health benefits 

    Since we brought up some of the mental health benefits of volunteering let’s take it a step further and dive into some of the physical benefits as well.

    Spending meaningful time with others can reduce stress and the health effects it has on our bodies. Reduced stress translates into several physical health benefits. You’ll sleep better, get sick less often, and even prevent heart disease! In fact, some studies have even found lower mortality rates in volunteers vs non-volunteers in older adults.

    7. Improve your brain power

    Every volunteer opportunity has its own set of tasks, and some of those might require you to learn new skill sets and challenge yourself. This means your brain stays engaged for longer periods of time and can increase your problem-solving skills as well as have positive effects on both long-term and short-term memory.

    Keeping your brain active and engaged as you age can also decrease your risk of developing age-related diseases like dementia.

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