In the fast-paced world we live in, we are constantly moving from one thing to the next. It can be hard to find a minute to ourselves, let alone a minute to give to someone else. So why would you give up some of your precious time to volunteer? What are the benefits?
At Action Tutoring we have over 1,100 incredible volunteers who give their time for us every year. Their support directly impacts the lives of around 2,500 pupils a year, to ensure they can progress in life. We simply could not function without them. To us the benefits are clear – our volunteers give our young people a future.
But we know your time is precious and we know even with the wider benefits to society it can be hard to make time to give back. Sometimes we have to be a bit selfish, and so I think it’s important to reflect on how volunteering benefits the giver…
It gives you the chance to meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise met
Any volunteering activity will take you outside of your normal social circles, offering you the chance to interact and learn from other people in your community. At Action Tutoring we’re proud to have a diverse range of volunteers supporting us, from 18 to 80 years. One of those, Abigail, is a university student who was new to London when she joined us,
“I have met lots of different, interesting people (tutors and pupils) and been to lots of different places in London that I wouldn’t have otherwise seen.”
It helps you to use existing skills you might have or learn and develop new skills
Depending on the activity there may be new skills you can learn or for softer skills, such as confidence or teamworking, volunteering often helps you to develop and refine these. As Chris, a HMRC Tax Specialist, comments,
“In my daily life Action Tutoring has helped me too. I am so much more confident walking into a room of people I don’t know and holding meetings at work, where I have to lead.”
The ‘feel good factor’
Through volunteering you’ll often get so see the impact of your efforts first hand, which can be incredibly rewarding. Through our tutoring activities, our volunteers often see this in the progression of the pupils they are supporting. Patsy, a retired statistician, comments:
“I get a great sense of satisfaction from seeing my pupils understand something that they didn’t understand before; and succeeding in their exams. Achieving these qualifications is so crucial for them and whatever else I do during the week, I know I’m helping to make a difference.”
Positive impact on your mental health
Volunteering has also been acknowledged as causing improved mental health. Giving your time to others helps to reduce isolation, reduces stress and helps to keep things in perspective. The Mental Health Foundation looks into this more deeply here.
In 2017-18, over 20.1 million people volunteered through a group, club or organisation – so there are plenty of opportunities to choose from. Whatever activity you choose, you can be sure the benefits will be great for you and for others.