Stories And News Latest News What are the long-term health benefits of volunteering? Our lovely volunteers selflessly give up their time to support Wessex Cancer Trust, through one-off events or on a more regular basis, and the time they give is greatly appreciated by the team and those who use our services. The great thing about volunteering is that while helping others, you can improve your own life in a number of ways. Here are eight ways that volunteering can contribute positively to your life. Boosts self-esteem Volunteering can help you to feel good about yourself. After all, you are helping to create a positive impact on somebody in need, which is a great achievement. When you contribute to a charity, you know that should you or a loved one ever need their support, their resources have grown from your involvement and so they will be better-equipped to aid you, all thanks to you! Expands your connections Volunteering is an excellent way to make friends for life. You can meet friendly people who are interested in the same field as you and are passionate about helping others. On top of this, volunteering presents a great networking opportunity and CV addition. Employers are always keen to hear from your volunteering supervisor about the amazing work you have done for no payment. You may also make friends with the people you are supporting through your work. Makes you feel good It has been discovered by the London School of Economics that volunteering makes people much happier in general. When you volunteer, there are endless opportunities to accomplish goals, whether it be raising a certain level of funds, or making somebody else smile. Seeing the positive impact your actions have had on others is great for your overall mood. The more regularly you volunteer, the greater these benefits will be. Contributes to a longer life Did you know that volunteering can improve your life-expectancy as well as the quality of your life? Researchers have found that volunteers are less prone to heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia due to the level of social interaction. Gives purpose Volunteering can add a great sense of meaning to your life, and give you a reason to get out the house, particularly for those who are retired. It combats isolation for those who live alone, are unemployed, or are experiencing particular mental health problems such as PTSD. Helping others can be a great distraction from life’s problems. Combats stress Studies have shown that the brain releases the neurotransmitter dopamine, which helps to improve your mood. This means that those who volunteer are less prone to depression than those who do not and are often less stressed. Gives a good example Why not show the children in your life the value of volunteering? Volunteering could be a great way to spend time with your children, and they can have fun while learning an important lesson about helping others. You can even inspire other adults by connecting with other volunteers through the Reward Volunteers programme. There is even the opportunity to win prizes for your service by participating in this programme! Teaches new skills Volunteering allows you to learn a number of new practical and social skills, which are great for both adding to your CV or for use in your day-to-day life. If you volunteer in a position you are interested in pursuing as a career, you may have an advantage over other candidates by gaining valuable experience. As you can see, volunteering has so many long-term benefits that it seems a shame not to take the opportunity. If you would like to help your local community while improving your health, well-being, confidence, and connections, take a look through our website to find the perfect role for you.