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Benefits of volunteering

3-minute read

Being a volunteer has lots of benefits. It can bring meaning and purpose to your life, while increasing your self-esteem and wellbeing. Volunteering can also relieve stress, and alleviate symptoms of depression. As well as having a positive impact on your community, volunteering can improve your relationships too.

Volunteering explained

Volunteering is an activity that someone chooses to do without being paid. It can be formal or informal. Informal volunteering includes helping friends and family with things like babysitting, home repairs or caring. Formal volunteering usually takes place through a charity or other not-for-profit or community organisation.

There are many organisations that actively seek volunteers. These include:

What do you hope to get out of volunteering?

Volunteering can be very meaningful and enjoyable, and in turn be good for your mental health and wellbeing.

Volunteering can:

  • give you a sense of achievement and purpose
  • help you feel part of a community
  • help you feel better about yourself by improving your self-esteem and confidence
  • help you share your skills, learn new skills and create a better work-life balance
  • help combat stress, loneliness and social isolation, and depression
  • help you meet new people, which can help you feel more connected and valued.

Social benefits of volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and build healthy relationships. It strengthens your ties to the community and exposes you to people with similar interests.

Volunteering also gives you the opportunity to practise and develop your social skills.

Because volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others, it can also help you develop a solid support base. As well as helping to protect you against stress and depression, volunteering can help with mental health recovery.

More information

Last reviewed: September 2017

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Volunteering | Head to Health

Volunteering can be a great way to add purpose to your life. A few hours of volunteer work can improve your mood, while regular volunteering is linked to better overall mental health.

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Carers NSW - Volunteer

Our volunteers help our administrative team send out our newsletter, Carers News, and other information to our members

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Volunteering can be a rewarding way to give to others and to learn some new skills. But it's also important to look after yourself.

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A Crisis Response Guide for Ex-Service Organisations, Welfare and Pension Officers and Veteran Community Volunteers

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People who work or volunteer in child-related work must usually complete a Working with Children (WWC) Check. These checks help to keep children safe.

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Breastfeeding Helpline | Australian Breastfeeding Association

The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) runs the National Breastfeeding Helpline 1800 mum 2 mum (1800 686 268). The Breastfeeding Helpline is available 7 days a week. It is staffed by trained, volunteer counsellors who answer calls on a roster system in their own homes.

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Donors are the lifeblood of our organisation. We collect around25,000 donations every week to meet the constant demand for life-saving products, and our only source is volunteer donors. To make sure our donors keep coming back, researchers at the Blood Service investigate ways to improve the donation experience and keep our donors happy and healthy. Australian Red Cross Blood Service - Call 13 14 95 today to donate blood and save three lives

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Peer Support Program | Vision Australia. Blindness and low vision services

You can receive one on one support from a trained volunteer who is blind or has low vision, and who can relate to your circumstances.The Peer Phone Support Program provides one-on-one telephone support to people who request to talk to someone who is blind or has low vision about coping with vision loss.

Read more on Vision Australia website

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This section contains a number of breastfeeding-related video clips. Please note that the views expressed in these videos do not necessarily reflect those of the Australian Breastfeeding Association.

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Specific information for consumers of healthcare services, their families or carers.

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