Ever thought about volunteering some of your time or skills to others? It’s a great way to make friends and gain a sense of well being, as well as helping some great charities or people in your community.
When people retire they can often find the change of pace and lifestyle difficult to deal with. They’ve had a routine for so long whilst working, that suddenly not having this routine can be hard for some to adapt to. For others, while they love their new-found freedom, they now have time on their hands and would want to give something back to society.
Research shows that volunteering can have real benefits, whatever the reason! It’s known for reducing stress, helping people make new friends and connect with their community, combat mental health issues and gives people a sense of purpose.
A survey earlier this year by YouGov on behalf of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations with over 10,000 people found that 77% said volunteering had improved their mental health, and just over half (53%) said it improved their physical health too. Many (68%) said volunteering helped them feel less isolated and 89% said they meet new people through volunteering.
Many Girlings residents do volunteer work.
This ranges from helping out for a few hours in a charity shop, walking dogs for an animal charity, serving hot meals to the homeless, doing someone’s shopping or even doing administration tasks in an office. Some may even just help out a fellow resident with thier weekly shop or arrange activities in the communal lounge.
The types of volunteering roles are endless and there are likely to be plenty of charities in your area crying out for some help. Check out your local council’s website, which is likely to bring up several volunteering opportunities. Alternatively, you could research charities in your area that have a cause close to your heart and offer your services.
There are also organisations such as Reach Volunteering that enable you to search for the type of volunteering role you may enjoy.
Another way to volunteer that could have a real impact on how a charity is managed is to become a charity Trustee. Charity trustees are the people who share responsibility for governing a charity and directing how it is managed and run. It’s a volunteer board-level role and can be an interesting and rewarding way to use your skills and experience.
However, it should be approached seriously because becoming a trustee carries a legal responsibility too, so it isn’t a role to undertake lightly. So, you see, volunteering really can be a great way to meet new people, use your skills and experience to give something back to society and to feel you have a purpose in your retirement.
If you are a Girlings tenant do let us know of your volunteering experiences, we’d love to know what great work our residents are doing! And of course, if you are already volunteering at a charity and you know they are looking for new people – why not ask around at your development? There are bound to be people interested in volunteering who just don’t know where to look for opportunities.