Why Volunteer?

Volunteering is perfect for so many people in a wide range of differing circumstances


Volunteers' Week 2017 - Live Videos

This year we did a little something different for Volunteers' Week. Partner organisations including REAL and Rossendale Borough Council ran a live webcast event for volunteers. Watch our BPRCVS Volunteer Centre Coordinator, Janette Holden, answer questions on 'Why Volunteer?'


The next video sees Janette answer frequently asked questions on volunteering. Check it out to find out more information about volunteers and what you can expect from volunteering.


Why Volunteer?

Volunteering is a crucial element of social and community action, but why do people choose to volunteer?


If you’re looking to develop your current skills or learn new skills volunteering is perfect for this

Volunteering helps to gain experience in a particular industry or job type

If you’re unemployed and looking for permanent paid work a voluntary role can help

When you've retired and are looking to keep busy volunteering is ideal

If you’re a part-time worker and want to donate your spare time

Voluntary opportunities provide the chance to socialise and make new friends

To be involved in your community and give something back


Many voluntary opportunities provide an opportunity to:


Make a difference to the lives of others

Help the environment

Help others less fortunate or without a voice

Spend time away from a busy lifestyle or workplace

Gain confidence and self-esteem

Feel valued and worthwhile

Become a part of a team

Use your skills and experience to benefit others

Get to know your local community

Get to know


The Benefits Of Volunteering

A voluntary opportunity, whatever the role may be, provides a range of very useful benefits such as:


1. Connecting with others

Meet new people and friends. Make new friends or strengthen existing friendships through volunteering. If you are new to an area volunteering is perfect to meet people and begin a lasting friendship. For those using volunteering as a potential stepping stone into employment it provides the possibility to build up industry contacts and resources.

Build social skills. While some people are naturally outgoing, others are shy and have a hard time meeting new people. Volunteering provides an opportunity to practice and develop social skills such as communication skills, rapport building skills, confidence meeting new people, and so much more. Volunteers meet regularly with a group of people with common interests making it easier to connect with others.



2. Good for the mind and body

Being a volunteer provides a range of benefits to both mental and physical health and wellbeing.

Volunteering helps counteract stress, anger, and anxiety. The social aspect of helping, supporting and working with others can have a profound effect on your overall mental well-being. A meaningful connection to another person can be a perfect antidote to stress. Working with animals has also been demonstrated to improve mood while reducing stress and anxiety.

Volunteering combats depression. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with other people. A solid support system helps to battle depression. 

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. Volunteers are doing good for others and the local community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Volunteering creates a sense of pride and identity. The better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future prospects.

Volunteering provides a sense of purpose. Older adults, in particular retirees, widows or widowers, can find a new purpose and direction in their lives by helping others. Regardless of age or life situation, volunteering keeps you mentally stimulated and adds more meaning to your life. By keeping busy through volunteering you can keep your mind free of worries.

Volunteering helps to stay physically healthy. Studies have shown volunteers have lower mortality rates than people who don't volunteer. Volunteering keeps you active and helps to avoid a sedentary lifestyle as volunteers tend to walk more, find it easier to cope with everyday tasks, are less likely to develop high blood pressure and have better thinking skills. Volunteering can also lessen symptoms of chronic pain and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Volunteering with limited mobility is still possible. Disabled people or those suffering with chronic health conditions benefit immensely from volunteering. Research demonstrates adults with disabilities or health conditions ranging from hearing and sight loss to heart disease, diabetes or digestive disorders all show improvements to their health after volunteering.

In today's digital society many voluntary organisations need volunteers, but technology enables them to work remotely from home which can be ideal for disabled and chronically ill volunteers. Some organisations may require remote working volunteers to attend an initial training session or periodical meetings. Most voluntary organisations are able to support volunteers with disabilities or chronic illnesses.



3. Advance your career

Considering a new career? Volunteering helps to gain experience in your chosen area of interest and meet people in the industry. Even if you’re not planning on changing careers, volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace. Develop skills such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organisation. You might feel more comfortable aiming for a promotion or new careers after developing skills like these.

Gain career experience. Volunteering offers the chance to try out a new career without making a long-term commitment and life changing decisions. A voluntary position is a great way to gain experience in a new field. In some fields, you can volunteer directly at an organization that does the kind of work you’re interested in. For example, if you’re interested in a nursing career you could volunteer at a hospital or nursing home. Your volunteer work may also expose you to professional organisations or internships that could be of significant benefit to your career.

Learn valuable skills. Volunteer work is unpaid, but the skills you can learn are far from basic and worthless. A lot of voluntary opportunities provide free extensive training. For example, you could become an experienced crisis counselor while volunteering for a women’s shelter or a knowledgeable art historian while donating your time at a local museum. A voluntary opportunity can also help you build upon skills you already have and use them to benefit the greater community. For instance, a successful sales person can raise awareness for a favoured cause as a volunteer advocate while further developing and improving public speaking, communication and marketing skills.


4. Fun and fulfillment

Volunteering is a fun and easy way to explore your interests and passions. Doing meaningful and interesting voluntary roles can be a relaxing, energising escape from your day-to-day routine of work, school, or family commitments and obligations. Volunteering also provides you with renewed creativity, motivation and vision that can be evident in your personal and professional life. Many people volunteer in order to make time for hobbies outside of work as well. People with desk jobs who long to spend more time outdoors might consider volunteering at a community garden, walk dogs for an animal shelter or help out at an outdoor sports club.

Consider your goals and interests. First take some time to identify your goals and interests to have a more fulfilling and enjoyable volunteering experience. Think about the reason why you want to volunteer and carefully consider what you would enjoy doing. The opportunities that match both your goals and your interests are most likely to be fun and fulfilling.


Whatever your circumstances and reasons for volunteering BPRCVS is always happy and able to help you find a suitable position that fits your requirements.

The voluntary sector depends on volunteers to enable organisations, groups and charities to deliver services in the community. Without your help many people may miss out on vital services, assistance and support. Together we can make sure this doesn’t happen.

Start volunteering today! Call Janette Holden on 01282 433740 Ext. 1011 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and give something back to your community.