The benefits of doing charity work and volunteering can be enormous. It offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for the individual. It can help you connect with other people, learn new skills, and even advance your career.
Giving to others can also help protect your mental and physical health. It can reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose. While it’s true that the more charity work and volunteering you do, the more benefits you’ll experience, it doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day. Giving, in even simple ways, can help those in need and improve your health and happiness.
There are 4 key benefits:
Benefit 1: Charity work and volunteering connects you to others
One of the more well-known benefits of charity work is the impact on the community. It allows you to connect with other people and make it a better place. Even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people, animals, and organisations in need.
Make new friends and contacts
One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together. Charity work and volunteering are great ways to get to know people. They can strengthen ties to your local or work community and broadens your support network, exposing you to people with common interests, local resources, and fun and fulfilling activities.
Increase social and relationship skills
While some people are naturally outgoing, others are shy and have a hard time meeting new people. Charity work and volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice and develop social skills, since you are meeting with a group of people with common interests. Once you have momentum, it’s easier to branch out and make more friends and contacts.
Benefit 2: Charity work and volunteering is good for mind and body
Charity work and volunteering provides many benefits to both mental and physical health.
Charity work and 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. Working with pets and other animals has also been shown to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
Charity work and volunteering combats depression. These activities can give you a regular focus and help you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against depression.
Charity and volunteering work 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.
Charity work and volunteering increases self-confidence. If you are doing good for others and the community, it provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Doing this as a volunteer can also help you achieve a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of life and future goals.
Benefit 3: Charity work and volunteering can advance your career
Charity work and volunteering give you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organization. You might feel more comfortable stretching your wings at work once you’ve honed these skills in an informal position first.
Teaching you valuable job skills
Just because volunteer and charity work is unpaid does not mean the skills learnt are basic. Many charity work and volunteering opportunities provide extensive training. For example, at EDAM we have trained our Mental Health First Aid volunteers in additional skills to provide this facility to our team.
Charity work and volunteering can also help you build upon skills you already have and use them to benefit the greater community. For instance, if you hold a successful sales position, you can raise awareness of your favourite cause as a volunteer advocate, while further developing and improving your public speaking, communication, and marketing skills.
Benefit 4: Charity work and volunteering brings fun and fulfilment to your life
Charity work and volunteering is a fun and easy way for you to explore your interests and passions. Doing work that you find meaningful and interesting can be a relaxing, energising escape from the day-to-day routine of work or family commitments. Charity work and volunteering can also provide renewed creativity, motivation, and vision that can carry over into your personal and professional life.
At EDAM we recognise all the valuable benefits that can be gained and offer numerous volunteer opportunities, such as the ability join the People Made group to be a representative for your department and help shape changes in the business for our people; First Aid Volunteers; Mental Health First Aid Volunteers, to name but a few. In addition we have regular fund raising activities for charities chosen by our people. Find out more about our great benefits here.