Study after study has shown that volunteering has as many benefits for the volunteer as it does for those who are being supported. Volunteering can reduce social isolation and mental stress and help you to feel more involved in your community. You’ll make new friends, learn new skills and gain in self-confidence, as well as knowing you are making a real difference to the lives of people, animals and organisations in need.
Volunteering isn’t just for young people: it can be a great way for people of all ages and disabilities to get out and meet new people. Whatever your age, background or interests – and however much time you can give – there is likely to be someone who needs your help.
Volunteers with care and support needs
Don’t rule out volunteering if you have your own care and support needs or are looking after someone who does. Your assessment of needs must take into account if you want to take part in any education, training or leisure activities, such as volunteering.
Not all volunteering opportunities involve leaving your home – charities often need help with paperwork, telephone answering and fundraising and particularly welcome those with specialist or professional skills.
Time banking recognises and celebrates the positive contribution volunteers make to their communities. One hour of volunteering banks you one hour of credit which you can ‘spend’ on leisure, cultural and sporting activities. Ask if your chosen charity has signed up yet.
How can I get involved?
Volunteering Wales has an online database to help you find volunteering opportunities near you. Call: 0800 2888 329.
Citizens Advice has a wide range of volunteer roles, including roles for disabled people.
Prime Cymru links would-be volunteers aged 50+ with opportunities to suit their skills and interests. Call: 01550 721 813.
Advocacy Matters Wales offers volunteering opportunities to adults with learning disabilities or autism, including working in their office, getting involved with the newsletter, organising meetings and interviewing new staff.