Volunteering: What can I do and why should I do it?
With busy lives and with the effects of the pandemic, it can be hard to find the time and motivation to volunteer. However, the benefits of voluntary action can be enormous to both you and others.
1. Help people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community
Volunteering is a very practical way to think about social issues that people face within your community and worldwide. Whether you’re interested in helping out at a local food bank, litter picking in your nearest park or supporting elderly residents that live nearby who may feel lonely, volunteering is a great way to make a difference. It’s very easy to complain and see faults in our society, so why not step up and try to tackle the problems directly by volunteering? Seeing small changes as a result of your voluntary work is great feelings and allow you to learn and understand more about social issues within your community.
2. Get to know the area
Cardiff is a very diverse city, with long-time residents and students alike coming from all over the world to work, study and seek asylum. It’s typical for students to live near their universities in the areas that they know, and they don’t tend to venture out too much outside of that comfort zone. However, Cardiff has so much to offer and volunteering is a great way to explore the sights and services available to communities in Cardiff whilst making a difference.
3. Gain valuable experience for your career
Voluntary experience looks amazing on your CV and LinkedIn profile and is bound to help you find employment. As it’s extremely difficult to get a job at the moment due to the pandemic, volunteering is a great way to gain much needed experience in a sector you’re studying about, or in a completely different field that interests you. It’s a great opportunity to explore what you’d like to do in your career! Volunteering is also an opportunity to network with new people to meet friends and even potential employers. Sometimes volunteering for a while might even land you a job!
4. Work on yourself
As well as developing transferable skills which so important in your career, volunteering can also help you to work on yourself. If you’d like practise at Improving your social and interpersonal skills, volunteering can be all you need to give you a boost of confidence.
5. Tackle loneliness
It’s really difficult to get out of the house during the pandemic, leaving many students stuck staring at the same four walls of their university accommodation and screens to do their work. Volunteering could help to break up the monotony of staying at home, help to combat loneliness and tackle mental health difficulties.
How do I find opportunities?
Finding opportunities to volunteer during the pandemic may seem harder, but it’s not impossible. Volunteering doesn’t just have to be your standard charity shop gig on a weekend, but instead can allow you to think outside of the box and research new and exciting voluntary opportunities.
You can look for voluntary opportunities anywhere from a local magazine to LinkedIn. If you’re unsure where to start looking, why not check out:
If you’d like more information on volunteering, check out TheSprout’s Volunteering Information page.