‘What’s in it for me?’ The benefits of volunteering

Hi, I'm Abbi and I'm the Volunteer Coordinator at Mental Health Resource.

We have an amazing group of volunteers who play a central role in helping us in our mission to improve mental health support in our community. When I recently asked them all what volunteering gives them, their answers highlighted that volunteering has many benefits for personal wellbeing. 

With Volunteers’ Week coming up, I thought I’d explore a bit further what the positives of giving your time to a good cause can be:

‘You feel like you’re giving something back’

Volunteering provides the opportunity to contribute positively to a cause that you really value and believe in.  By lending time and energy to a good cause you are not only benefitting your own community but enhancing your own wellbeing at the same time. 

‘Giving’ and ‘Connecting’ are recognised as key components in our overall mental health, helping us to feel more connected to the world and a part of something bigger than ourselves.

‘I feel good about myself’

There’s no denying that helping others can make us feel satisfied and fulfilled, in fact some studies even claim that people who help others are more likely to rate themselves as happy. 

Volunteering can give us a new perspective on our own lives or simply provide us with a much-needed distraction from our everyday cares. 

‘I’ve made some really good friends’

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, many of whom will share the same interests as you.  Working towards a common purpose is a great way to forge bonds with others and it’s a great leveller.  For many people volunteering provides much-needed companionship. 

Many of us struggle with loneliness or isolation at some point in our lives, so volunteering is a great way to get out there and make the personal connections that are so important for our mental wellbeing. 

‘It gives me a sense of purpose’

Sometimes volunteering can provide a new sense of direction, perhaps enabling you to return to a favourite activity or skill that’s laid dormant for a while, or providing a chance to pause and reflect on what you really enjoy. 

Often volunteering opens up opportunities for new learning, and can add really valuable skills, knowledge and experience to your CV!

‘I’ve got a lot more knowledge about mental health now’

At Mental Health Resource, our volunteers find their roles have given them greater understanding of mental health issues and confidence around helping those who may be struggling. 

If you would like to be part of our wonderful volunteer team, visit our Volunteer pages for our latest opportunities or contact me on abbib@mentalhealthresource

Volunteering Roles at Mental Health Resource