Shire of Goomalling

The social benefits of volunteering

Volunteering has a meaningful and positive impact on your community. However it can also benefit the individual who is performing the voluntary work.

Volunteering and social support

  • People with increased social contacts and stronger support networks have lower premature death rates and fewer health risk factors.
  • Social networks provide both emotional benefits and actual assistance in times of need.
  • Volunteering helps individuals form interpersonal ties and develop their social networks.

Volunteering and healthy aging

  • Volunteering among seniors has been linked to improved quality of life, stronger social networks and increased levels of physical activity.
  • Many seniors are at risk of social isolation and decreased social activity. Volunteering can help to counter this.
  • Volunteering activity throughout adult years promotes healthy aging and activity in older age.
  • Volunteerism contributes to successful aging by enhancing one’s life satisfaction and sense of well-being, sense of purpose, self confidence and personal growth.
  • Volunteering enhances health because individuals with many interests tend to have increased well-being.

Volunteering and developing community bonds

  • Cohesion in a community reflects group membership, civic participation, social networks, levels of trust and information sharing inherent in social relations.
  • Community bonds, social interaction and relationships that promote co-operation tend to ease the stresses of daily life.
  • Increases in community participation, such as membership of voluntary organisations, are reflected in increases in community health.
  • Social participation through volunteering is an important element of healthy, integrated and secure communities.
  • Volunteer organisations positively impact upon factors that influence health by encouraging interaction between community members.

Volunteering and self-enhancement

  • Increasing your social integration aids with your ability to cope with stress.
  • Young people can benefit from volunteering in terms of enhanced confidence and self-esteem through skills development.
  • Volunteers often report improving their interpersonal skills as well as gaining better communication, organisational and managerial skills.

Reference: Canadian Health Network (2005) Volunteering as a Vehicle for Social Support and Life Satisfaction http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/


 

Volunteering WA

The information above is reproduced from http://volunteeringwa.org.au/ with the kind permission of Volunteering WA. Volunteering WA have more information about volunteering in the Wheatbelt