Volunteer for a Greater Later Life
24 March 2014
With research showing that older people who volunteer lead much happier and more fulfilled lifestyles, here are a few tips to help you make the decision if you are considering taking a little time out of your day in order to help others in need.
Having joined forces with Royal Voluntary Service last year we want to help raise the awareness of the many benefits that volunteering can have for those in their later years.
By following these simple steps to volunteering, we believe many more people will be able to achieve a greater sense of achievement, and ultimately a more fulfilling and satisfying way of life.
Our top tips to volunteering include:
- Look to volunteer for a charity you feel passionate and care about. Volunteer work should not be entirely selfless, it’s your time you’re giving up after all. Volunteering can fit around your busy life. It can be as little as a couple of hours every couple of months or 15 minutes once a week. It’s just important that you enjoy what you are doing so that you will continue doing it.
- Consider the skills you have to offer. If you enjoy cooking, have a knack for making things, or just enjoy interacting with people, you may want to look for volunteer work that would incorporate these aspects of your personality.
- Perhaps you would like to learn something new? Consider volunteering to work for an organisation that will open up the chance for you to perfect a new skill or broaden your horizons.
- If you’re worried about volunteering alone, talk to other people in the local community. Did you know that 5,202,000 people aged 60 and over volunteer for one or more charity – that’s 40 per cent – one of them may well be your friend or neighbour.
- When you’ve made your choice and are ready to start, make sure there’s a comprehensive training package for volunteers so you feel confident you will be provided with the skills you need to fulfil your role – you need to be happy and comfortable.
- Ensure the organisation has enough flexibility to fit around your availability – not just week by week, but also for any long breaks away.
- Finally don’t limit yourself – there are so many things you could volunteer to do, from walking a neighbour’s dog, to teaching classes, or even broadcasting on hospital radio. Contact your local hub of Royal Voluntary Service, and they will be able to explain all of the opportunities in your area.
We’re currently a charitable partner of Royal Voluntary Service, the older people’s charity which provides practical and personal support for older people in the UK. As our ‘Charity of the Year’ will aim to raise at least £75,000 to support the 40,000 volunteers Royal Voluntary Service has across Britain, each of whom are dedicated to helping older people stay active, independent and connected to their community.
To find out more about volunteering in your area call Royal Voluntary Service on 0845 608 0122 or search for opportunities on their website. If you would like to support the work of Royal Voluntary Service please text MCAS13 followed by the amount you want to donate (e.g. £3, £5 or £10) to 70070.