CELEBRATING National Volunteers Week – June 1-7, 2020

Being a volunteer has probably never been more in the spotlight than it is at the current time.

Look how Taunton sprang into action with the Coronavirus Community Help group. Suddenly, people wanted to help their communities with picking up prescriptions, shopping, buddy checking etc.

It gave me a warm feeling to see so many people wanting to help.

Many charities would be unable to operate without their volunteer workforce. There are many sectors to choose from – arts & culture, animals, mental health, stately homes, theatres, schools, care homes, the list is endless.

It is human nature to feel good after helping someone out. Volunteering can also help you gain valuable new skills and experiences and boost your confidence. It provides many benefits to both mental and physical health.

Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. The social contact aspect of helping and working with others can have a profound effect on your overall psychological well-being. Nothing relieves stress better than a meaningful connection to another person.

Volunteering makes you happy. By measuring hormones and brain activity, researchers have discovered that being helpful to others delivers immense pleasure. Human beings are hard-wired to give to others. The more we give, the happier we feel.

Volunteering increases self-confidence. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.

Volunteering provides a sense of purpose. Older adults, especially those who have retired or lost a spouse, can find new meaning and direction in their lives by helping others. Whatever your age or life situation, volunteering can help take your mind off your own worries, keep you mentally stimulated, and add more zest to your life.

If you would like to become a volunteer, call Somerset Volunteering on 0300 123 2224 or email volunteer@somerset.gov.uk.


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