The Benefits of Volunteering
Help yourself whilst helping others
Volunteering gives you the opportunity to grow and develop whilst providing valuable support to people in need at the same time. One of the best things about volunteering is that you can find a placement that fits in with your lifestyle and the time that you have available, whether you are looking to increase your social activities, change career, gain new skills or move towards employment, the right volunteering placement can help you to get there.
Gain experience and new skills
Whether looking to gain skills within a new area or increase experience within a particular field there is a lot of opportunity for growth through the right volunteering role. Not only is it an opportunity to impress potential employers but a chance to improve your own skills and confidence.
Training, particularly that which is accredited, is often an important part of volunteering. Volunteers should ask any organisation who they are considering volunteering with what training opportunities will be available as part of the role. Remember that whilst accredited training is very valuable receiving support and proper guidance in the volunteering work can allow even greater learning to take place.
Boost your CV
A survey by TimeBank showed that in the UK’s leading 200 businesses:
- 73% of employers would employ a candidate with volunteering experience over one without.
- 94% of employers believe that volunteering can add to skills.
- 58% say that voluntary work experience can actually be more valuable than experience gained in paid employment.
- 94% of employees who volunteered to learn new skills had benefited either by getting their first job, improving their salary, or being promoted.
Skills learned, experience obtained and qualifications gained can significantly enhance a CV demonstrating proactivity, determination and drive, all of which employers look for. Experience gained within a field can help develop contacts as well as making job applicants stand out.
Increase employment opportunities
Organisations will look to recruit people who have proven themselves to be willing and capable and who have already committed themselves to the charity through volunteering. In additions many employers look for experience within a specific field before employing someone.
Meet new people
Volunteering is a great way to expand your social life and meet new people. Volunteers can become part of the workplace community as well as the community of volunteers within a charity. Aside from events for volunteers and other company functions, friendships can form that go beyond the workplace.
Make a difference to your community
Volunteering can help you to make a difference to the lives of those who are vulnerable and in need. Using your skills and experience you can help to change the lives of those in your local community. Be prepared as many volunteers claim that their experiences change their lives as well.