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Give a little

More and more these days we are hearing about the wonderful activity of volunteering. With our busy lives, it can be difficult to spare the time and we can always think of excuses and reasons as to why we might do it next year but there are so many great opportunities available that maybe we should grab the bull by the horns and just jump in.

Volunteering is essential for people in need, worthwhile causes and the community as a whole but there are also plenty of personal benefits too. Volunteering can reduce stress by giving you a sense of purpose and keeping you stimulated. It doesn’t have to take up much time out of your day or week as even just giving a little time can improve your well-being greatly. Stress and anxiety can be relieved by meaningful connections with others and your community. Volunteering with animals has been proven to improve your mood.

Helping others makes you feel better and so volunteering can cause an increase in your overall happiness levels. It enables you to connect to others and can also enhance future career prospects by giving you new skills. You will undoubtedly make new friends and improve your social skills at the same time. For young people and students, this can add a new dimension to your CV and make you stand out from other candidates for jobs or college courses.

Volunteering provides a huge sense of accomplishment and will boost your self-confidence. For those who are retired or living alone, it can also be a great way of keeping you active and giving a new meaning and direction in life. Physically, older volunteers benefit from an increase in activity and tend to walk more and have improved mental abilities.

If you are considering a change of career, then volunteering is a useful way to gain experience and also test the waters to see if it’s how you imagined it to be. Nursing or teaching offer volunteering opportunities and this might also be a way of finding out about courses or training programmes open to you. You will need a DBS Check for any volunteering that involves vulnerable individuals. For more information, visit http://carecheck.co.uk/

Give a little

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Volunteering can also be just about fun and following your passions and interests. It can act as a helpful distraction from the stresses of work, school or family. Many people combine hobbies and volunteering which is a fantastic way of doing something you love and giving back to the community at the same time. Take some time to think about what really makes you tick, as the more closely your interests are matched to the volunteering activity, the more you enjoy it.

Here are just a few ideas of placing to research:

Community theatres

Animal Shelters

Sports Teams

Youth Centres

National Parks or conservation organisations

Wildlife Centres

Schools

Hospitals

Care Homes

There are many more and some simple local research online should show you what’s available in your area.

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