Volunteering is good for you
Whether you offer to run a stall at the Christmas Bazzar, help organise the a PTA quiz, or take on the role of treasurer, the simple act of volunteering is good for your health!
The health benefits
Research by national volunteering charity, TimeBank reported that a quarter of people aged between 35 and 44 found volunteering was beneficial to their health. 'People often say they are surprised that they get a lot more out of volunteering than they put in,' says Helen Walker, chief executive of TimeBank.
Professional development coach, Dorothy Atcheson, agrees: 'Volunteering does wonders for your mind, body and spirit. Especially if you're feeling isolated or out on a limb after a big change - like a redundancy, say, or change of relationship - it's a way to plug yourself in again and get charged up. Sometimes just getting out to meet new people and try new things can help you feel more connected, happy and confident.'
This is backed up by other research listing the social and CV-enhancing benefits of giving up a few hours of your time for a good cause. A survey of 200 of Britain's top businesses by TimeBank found that 73% of employers would employ candidates with volunteering experience more readily than those without and that 94% believed volunteering could enhance skills.
In his book The Healing Power of Doing Good, Allan Luks states that there is medical evidence to support the belief that volunteering is beneficial to health, and that giving up a few hours of your time a week for a deserving cause may even strengthen the immune system, speed up the recovery from surgery, and relieve insomnia.