Do yourself a favour by helping someone else
People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge. Regardless of the motivation, what unites them all is that they find it both challenging and rewarding.
What most people don’t realise, however, is that not only does their volunteering help someone else, but it also helps themselves. The Mental Health Foundation found that when you help others, it promotes positive physiological changes in the brain associated with happiness. These rushes are often followed by longer periods of calm and can eventually lead to better wellbeing. Helping others improves social support, encourages us to lead a more physically active lifestyle, distracts us from our own problems, allows us to engage in a meaningful activity and improves our self-esteem and competence.
Volunteering also brings a sense of belonging and reduces isolation. It’s knowing that you’re avital part of something bigger than yourself and it can help you to make new friends and get in touch with your local community.
It can also help to keep things in perspective. Many people don’t realise the impact that a different perspective can have on their outlook on life. Helping others in need, especially those who are less fortunate than yourself, can provide a real sense of perspective and make you realise how lucky you are, enabling you to stop focusing on what you feel you are missing – helping you to achieve a more positive outlook on the things that may be causing you stress.
Volunteering also makes the world a happier place – it’s contagious! Acts of kindness have the potential to make the world a happier place. An act of kindness can improve confidence, control, happiness and optimism. It can also encourage others to repeat the good deed that they’ve experienced themselves leading to a more positive community.
Finally, the biggest reward of all for volunteering is that it can help us live longer. Studies of older people show that those who give support to others live longer than those who don’t.
So there are many good reasons to become a volunteer, and it is so simple. We need caring, positive people to visit older people in their own homes. We don’t ask you to do anything too taxing, just have a chat and brighten up the day of someone in your community who is a bit lonely. We will introduce you to the person you will befriend and keep in touch to make sure that the relationship is working well for both of you.
So if you want to put something back and get the benefits associated with volunteering then just give Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton a call on 01704 542 993 and ask for a volunteer application pack to become a Befriending Volunteer or download the pack online from http://www.ageconcernliverpoolandsefton.org.uk/support/volunteer/
We look forward to hearing from you.