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


Volunteering WA

The information above is reproduced from with the kind permission of Volunteering WA. Volunteering WA have more information about volunteering in the Wheatbelt