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Volunteering Makes You Feel Good!

Befriending undoubtedly brings lots of benefits to the person who receives a volunteer visits. Increased confidence, mood and wellbeing are all areas improved by receiving a befriending visit. However did you know being a Volunteer also brings with it a bunch of positive effects on your health too?

Mental Health

A recent report by the Citizens Advice Bureau suggests that four in five volunteers believe their volunteering activity has had a positive effect on their health. The report indicates that volunteering boosts self-esteem, employability and health – especially mental health. It suggests those who gave up their time to help others were less likely to suffer from depression plus they had higher levels of life satisfaction and wellbeing.

Cyril Flint Volunteers often talk about the feel good factor of “giving something back” to their communities, or supporting an organization or charity that has supported someone close to them. Volunteering can also be used to gain work experience or to widen social circles. All of which can have a positive effect on Mental Health.

But we were surprised to learn that volunteering has positive implications that go beyond mental health. A growing body of evidence suggests that people who give their time to others might also be rewarded with better physical health—including lower blood pressure and a longer lifespan.

Physical Health Benefits:

  • It reduces stress
    Doing things for others helps maintain good health.Positive emotions reduce stress and boost our immune system, and in turn can protect us against disease.
  • It helps get rid of negative feelings
    Negative emotions such as anger, aggression or hostility have a negative impact on our mind and body. Engaging in random acts of kindness can help decrease these feelings and stabilise our overall health.

Volunteering helps you live longer – really!

Whilst it’s not too hard to see the link between helping others and gaining a sense of connection, pride, and perspective, did you know that it can also help you live longer?

Researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School in the south of England analyzed data from 40 published studies and found evidence that volunteers had a 20 percent lower risk of death than their peers who do not volunteer. The study also found that volunteers had lower levels of depression, increased life satisfaction and enhanced well-being.

Dr. Suzanne Richards, who lead the team of researchers at Exeter, said that more testing on this subject is necessary in order to find out whether or not biological, cultural, and social factors are associated with a willingness to volunteer in the first place, as they are often associated with better health.

“The challenge now is to encourage people from more diverse backgrounds to take up volunteering, and then to measure whether improvements arise for them,” she said.

So there you have it – the benefits of volunteering are vast and varied. Give something back and improve your health today – visit the “Volunteer” section of our website today to find out more!

Supported Volunteering in action

Looking around our regular supported volunteering session last week and we couldn’t help but beam with pride.

Some of the group were busy writing CV’s with a member of our team, others were having a brew and chatting about how they never really got out before they joined the group. Part of the session was spent signing up for a 4 week learning course due to start the next week. Plans were made to do a group visit to a nursing home the following week.

This truly was supported volunteering in action, where a little extra help is provided to people who want to become volunteers but who might need some support along the way.  Whether you have barriers to overcome, need a confidence boost or just a push in the right direction, we will do our best to help. Perhaps you want to build your confidence, get out and meet new people or get back on track into employment?

 Cyril Flint’s Supported Volunteer Scheme

If this sounds like you, then our supported volunteer programme could be just the thing. Our fun, informal and supportive Volunteer sessions can help empower people to become active in the community, build skills and increase their options whilst helping make a difference.Volunteering is a tried and tested method of improving confidence and wellbeing. However lots of people often find they face barriers to volunteering.

Our supported volunteer groups help build confidence and knowledge and encourage engagement in volunteering activity.

Support can include:

  • Help going through the application process
  • Filling in forms
  • A helping hand to get you started on your volunteering adventure. We are around to go with you to new places and are there to help you and the person you befriend settle in
  • Group sessions to share experiences and access further support if required.
  • Access to free supported learning courses whilst you are volunteering
  • Social events where you can meet other volunteers

And much, much more! Get in touch today – email [email protected] for more information.