Volunteering, happiness and wellbeing…

Posted on 17th August 2015

One of our all-time favourite statistics comes from a small survey carried out more than a decade ago. It found that volunteering was the second greatest source of joy, second only to “wait for it” Scottish country dancing. This is a great way of emphasising the value of volunteering which goes way beyond the obvious.

We can measure volunteering in both the economic terms and in the value to the local community, and new evidence is emerging about the contribution volunteering plays in enhancing employability and in helping people into work. But what this demonstrates so neatly is the value volunteering has on our happiness and wellbeing.

It would be nonsense to suggest that volunteering can solve all the ills of the mind and body, but there is a growing research from around the globe that indicates that volunteering does have a feel-good effect, helping to combat stress and depression and contributing to feelings of greater life satisfaction.

I’m not sure if we know exactly why volunteering works in this way. It could be to do with the ‘warm fluffy glow’ of doing something useful, or the nature of volunteering and the satisfaction that comes from working together with friends and colleagues to make a difference.

Do you know anyone who tirerlessy volunteers in Medway? If you do, why not nominate them for a Pride in Medway 2015 and boost your own feeling of self satifcation.

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