Volunteering is something that we at Smiley News are incredibly passionate about – not only because it is good for charities, but because it’s good for the volunteers too.
But we get that not everyone knows what it’s like to volunteer, and not knowing can make it more difficult to get involved. That’s why we’ve put together a super handy guide answering some of the most frequently asked questions on the internet, all about volunteering.
What is the impact of volunteering?
Volunteering has a huge impact – in so many different ways. It’s great for the organisation you’re volunteering for – obviously – but research has also shown that it also has a hugely positive impact on you as an individual. It helps to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, and introduces you to new people from completely different walks of life.
How can you have a meaningful impact as a volunteer? What are the benefits of volunteering to society?
Volunteering almost invariably has a meaningful impact, allowing you to positively influence others and the world around you. It also helps you realise the value you have and reap the rewards of supporting others.
Why does the world need volunteering? How does volunteering help the community?
The world needs volunteering and mutual aid because without it, our world would be dominated by monetary transactions. Making volunteering an integral part of our society and communities helps us to put value on something more than just money – to prioritise helping others and giving back.
Is it OK to volunteer once a week?
Absolutely! If all you can do, or want to do, is to volunteer once a week, that will still have a huge impact. Volunteering is something you can fit around your life. It shouldn’t be the other way around.
What are the ways to volunteer a few hours a week from home?
There are plenty of ways to volunteer from home – it’s often called microvolunteering. Many charities need volunteers to work remotely with nothing more than an internet connection, and a laptop or phone, to complete tasks like admin work or zoom or phone calls.
More than ever, charities need people to utilise their professional skills but on a voluntary basis – writing copy, offering legal or IT advice; these are all things you can do from home.
Why do people volunteer without getting anything out of it?
Many people get something out of volunteering – whether that is the enjoyment of the work itself, the friends they make, time out of the house, or even just the joy of giving back. But ultimately, volunteering is something you can do to help others – that’s much more important than what you get back.
Can I do work as a volunteer for a few months for NGOs?
Of course! Many charities and NGOs need temporary volunteers, or are just happy with getting as much time as you can give them. Just be upfront about what you can give at the start and they’ll be happy to accommodate.
What are some good reasons to volunteer?
Take your pick! How great it is to give back, the health benefits, getting to see the impact of your actions firsthand – there are so many brilliant reasons to volunteer.
Should I volunteer even if I don’t want to?
You shouldn’t feel like you have to volunteer if you don’t want to – but if you want to give back, there are always ways to tie it to something you love. Turn a passion like gaming or running into a fundraising event, volunteer at historical gardens or grow fresh food for your local food bank. Volunteering doesn’t have to be painful or boring – it’s what you make of it.
If you want to volunteer, but don’t know where to start, check out our Monthly Volunteering Opportunities – it’s a long list of volunteering opps in the UK with something for everyone and instructions on how to apply.