Posted: 01/06/2022

Volunteering is an integral part of society in which many organisations need volunteers to thrive and tackle the new challenges of today. Whilst this is unquestionably good for the organisation the big question is... what's in it for you? Why should YOU volunteer?

Volunteer Hartlepool currently has 167 active volunteer opportunities available and has knowledge of over 600 organisations and community groups that currently operate within Hartlepool. The range of opportunities on offer is endless. From sports coaching to fundraising, eBay trading to mentoring, volunteering is a great way to hone your career skills in an area that interests you.

For some, volunteering can be a route to employment, or a chance to try something new which `may` lead to a career change. Volunteering will also help you to:

• Gain new skills, knowledge and experience
• Developing existing skills and knowledge
• Enhancing a CV
• Improving one's employment prospects
• Gaining an accreditation

Volunteering will build your CV: You will inevitably build new skills as a result of volunteering which can be integral to job opportunities and put you ahead of other applicants. Not only that, but the experience itself will ensure you are a unique candidate with more to offer and more experience. Volunteering can help to provide people with ways out of poverty, by giving them new skills and confidence, and aid social integration. This is particular value to those who are most excluded from the labour market.

Volunteering has a positive impact on health. Volunteering supports mental and physical health by providing stimulation, something to do, exercise, as well as routine and structure in life. The social aspect of volunteering provides the opportunity to be socially connected buffering the effects of depression, loneliness and social isolation.
The additional benefits in terms of positive outcomes for volunteers are the feel good factor of making a contribution to the lives of others and being appreciated and valued for what they do.
For others, volunteering appeals because of its social benefits. These include:

Meeting new people and making new friends, as you delve in to new environments and situations, you will inevitably meet new people-- whether it be colleagues or individuals you meet throughout your days of volunteering. This allows you to meet people you would never have otherwise crossed paths with which is invaluable in itself!

A chance to socialise, Volunteering helps reduce loneliness, now a recognised as a serious health risk and is one of the community –led approaches that can help improve mental health.
Many organisations rely on volunteers and would be unable to function without them. Thus, when we say volunteers are making a difference they really are making a difference. This has become even more prevalent over the last few years and will continue to grow. Therefore, it is more important than ever to choose to volunteer.

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