During the current Coronavirus pandemic, the benefits of volunteering can be enormous. Volunteering offers vital help to the community, people in need and worthwhile causes, but the benefits can be equally as rewarding for you. The right opportunity can help you to find friends, connect with the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career.
A simple way of volunteering your time could be by looking out for your family, friends and neighbours. In addition to this, other people in the community such as key workers, medical staff and the elderly may also need support. After ensuring yours and others safety, you could offer help with shopping, fetching medical supplies or other errands. Another option is to volunteer remotely, this is a great way to help if you must stay at home but feel well enough to support others. For example, befriending people who are isolated or share official information from the government, NHS or Public Health England, by telephone or online.
Volunteering time to help others can also improve your mental and physical health. It can keep you mentally stimulated, provide a sense of purpose, reduce stress and combat depression. The more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll experience, volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day.
In addition to the benefits above, volunteering can be incredibly useful when applying for a job. Including this experience on your CV shows potential employers that you can take initiative and that you’re willing to give your own time to improve the world for other people.
If you’re volunteering with organisations and charities, it can give you the chance to try out a new career without making a long-term commitment. This is also a great way to gain experience in a new field and test yourself in a certain sector of work so you can see whether you like it. Furthermore, volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace, such as communication, teamwork, problem solving, planning and organisation.
In some sectors, you can volunteer directly at a company that does the kind of work you’re interested in. For example, if you’re interested in Health and Social Care, you could volunteer at a hospital or a nursing home. Your volunteer work might also uncover different training that could benefit your future career choice.