There is a huge range of opportunities for volunteering in your community. Whether you have quite a bit of spare time or only a few hours a month, there is a group or organisation in your area who would love to hear from you.
The benefits of volunteering
As well as the more obvious benefits of volunteering for the people or area being helped, there are many benefits that you can get yourself from giving your time. These include:
- Meeting new people and making local connections – with our busy lives we often don’t get to make the links we would like to with other people.
- volunteering gives you the chance to make friends with people with similar interests and really feel connected in your community
- making a difference – there is a real sense of pride and achievement in doing something positive
- using and increasing your skills – whether you are retired and keen to carry on using all those skills you’ve acquired during your life, or you’re a young person looking to make yourself more employable, volunteering is a flexible, fun way to use and build skills
- improving your wellbeing – helping others, socialising and feeling useful are proven ways to increase your happiness and positivity.
The beauty of volunteering is that while you are helping others, you are also helping yourself.
Options for volunteering
If you are interested in volunteering, there are many places you can go to to find out where, what and how:
- Community Action Suffolk is an organisation working with charities and community groups across Suffolk, helping them with advice, information and assistance. They have information and links about volunteering on the Community Action Suffolk website
- West Suffolk councils’ Love Where You Live initiative offers opportunities and assistance to volunteer at a local level.
- Employee volunteering - many employers, particularly larger ones, offer a number of days per year their employees can volunteer outside their organisation, recognising the many benefits this brings in the way of new skills, reputation and happy workers. Ask your employer if this is something they offer.