Not too late to make a change

by | 13 March 2020 | Gainsborough, Notice

How’s that New Year’s Resolution going? Or did you, like me, not even bother to set one this year? We’ve all experienced that sliding spiral, when the weather is cold and it’s still dark outside and there’s seemingly nothing to look forward to. Maybe what we need is a more achievable, and possibly a more rewarding resolution that could be the first step in making that change. Many people find that helping out in the community leads to changes in their own lives — such as a career change, new friends or an improved sense of wellbeing and community spirit.

We are often told that people ‘don’t have time’ to volunteer — now that people are better connected and are able to do more online it’s easy to feel like there’s no time to give away. According to the NCVO Community Life survey in 2018 almost 40% of individuals said they had engaged with informal volunteering activity or ‘microvolunteering’ at least once over the year, in their local communities.

Microvolunteering is any small, selfless action that helps you to make an impact on your community. Often these activities take place online without leaving home or getting out of your pyjamas! These opportunities take from as little as 30 seconds to 30 minutes and make a real difference to local communities. Many people carry out microvolunteering activities without even realising, such as sharing a charity campaign online, sharing leaflets and information with colleagues or friends, or offering some advice to others in need.

So how do we find these activities? Offering a little time to your friends and neighbours is a great way to start. Alternatively you can visit the Volunteer Centre to find out about the wide range of opportunities we can recommend, depending on your interests. There are lots of roles that depend more on personal qualities such as a caring nature, good listening skills or practical experience rather than specific qualifications or experience. Both micro and formal volunteering roles are flexible too and can fit around other commitments such as work, family or studies, for example befriending roles need caring people with an hour or so a week to spare, mentoring roles need people with experience who can care for and share understanding with others and shop roles look for friendly people who can give good customer service.

Whilst volunteering for a local charity or community group isn’t paid, there are other ways you could benefit. Volunteering can unlock your potential and help you to access qualities you didn’t even realise you had — boosting confidence, motivation and even improving your CV. Research says that doing good actually does you good, boosting both mental and physical health, contributing to a more positive community — an all round win!

If you’re interested in finding out more about volunteering please get in touch on 01427 613470, pop in to the Guildhall, Marshall’s Yard, Gainsborough DN21 2NA, email westlindsey@voluntarycentreservices.org.uk or visit www.voluntarycentreservices.org.uk.

Heather Arnatt
Voluntary Centre Services West Lindsey