What are the benefits of volunteering
Do you have doubts about what are the actual benefits of volunteering? This is more than giving your free time to help others. It’s a way to enhance your own skills in many areas, whilst giving you that feel good factor.
Two UK organisations – Change Agents UK and Amber Initiatives – have provided us with some great tips and interesting facts to inspire you in this journey.
“Volunteering is a great way to get experience in a sector you want to work for – or just to get some skills under your belt to make yourself more employable”, highlights Change Agents UK.
You won’t be just filling a blank space on your CV. This type of experience can make you stand out amongst a pile of applications.
Amber Initiatives observes that “companies value volunteering experience and often would rather choose a person who has volunteering experience. For future employers, it means that you sacrificed your own free time to do something beneficial.”
Short and long term benefits
One of the greatest things about volunteering is meeting new people – and it’s not too long until it happens.
Also, “you soon will be learning about yourself in different surroundings and doing things that are out of your comfort zone”, notes Change Agents UK. On a long term, the experience will increase your confidence.
If the group you will be working with is from a different background, that’s a chance to immerse yourself in another culture by experiencing their customs and improve or learn a new language.
Back to the work skills, in the beginning, you will have the opportunity of finding out how project management and organisation work in different countries, or companies, and getting to know the sector your organisation works in.
“On a long term, that means establishing and managing contacts in the sector and gaining a deeper understanding of the working environment”, says Amber Initiatives.
UK and abroad
From your neighbourhood to a distant country, there are different locations where you can find an organisation looking for support.
“Young people who are enthusiastic, hard workers, who are looking to make a difference even in the smallest organisations, and make the most of the experience” are the most suited for volunteering in the UK, in Change Agents UK’s point of view.
For those interested in volunteering abroad, Amber Initiatives, for example, looks for “open-minded and willing-to- learn individuals, preferably with some related experience or education. If needed sometimes, specific language skills, to help the organisation to communicate with communities.”
Volunteering can improve your skills, build your confidence, meet new friends and make you feel good!
Are you inspired? Take a look at the database of volunteering opportunities on the European Youth Portal.