17 July 2023

Good for You Too

How Volunteering can Improve Mental Health

As well as having a positive impact in society, volunteering can also improve your mental health. The smallest act of kindness towards someone else can make a big difference to their life, as well as yours.

How do I benefit from volunteering?

  1. Connecting with Others

By volunteering, you’ll be around lots of other people who all share the same interest. This connection with other people can help tackle loneliness and help you make friends. This can also give us a sense of belonging.

  1. Confidence and Skills

Whether you have the skills already, or are happy to learn, then volunteering can give you that relaxed environment to grow your confidence. These skills could be useful in the future to help you in your work or while getting a job.

  1. Provides a Sense of Purpose

By getting out the house and being part of an activity can help to give you a sense or purpose. Whether that is looking after a garden or helping to tutor young people, you can find your place.

  1. Reducing Stress

Having some time away from your main activities, whether that is work or studying, can reduce stress overall.

This sounds great, how do I get involved?

  1. Find something you’re passionate about.

If you’re looking for volunteering opportunities, then have a look around organisations that interest you. For example, if you love animals, perhaps look for city farms or rescue shelters. While you are volunteering you will get skills in brand new areas.

  1. Pick something you’ll enjoy.

Volunteering doesn’t have to be a new set of work. By taking part in something you find enjoyable, you can find others who also enjoy it, helping to build your connections and confidence.

  1. Want to solve a problem in your local area?

Volunteering can also help your community by solving local problems. Whether that will be helping to tutor local students or running a local book swap, any little thing helps.

  1. Take your time.

The flow of volunteering will take some time to get into, so make sure that you don’t go all in. Ensure that you’re leaving enough time to do work, as well as having some time for yourself.

My Experiences of Volunteering

As my time as a student at Queen Mary University of London, I have taken part in several volunteering opportunities. These include tutoring a student with Tutor the Nation, as well as running a social walking club and helping first year students settle in at university.

Volunteering has helped me become a far more confident person, as well as giving me the opportunity to meet so many great people, many of whom I am good friends with now. Volunteering also gives me the opportunity to step back from my work and to spend some time around like-minded people and give back to my community.

– Submitted by our Ambassador Dan👏

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