Could this be the year to volunteer?

Posted 6th April 2022

Volunteering in retirement

According to the Centre for Ageing Better, the pandemic prompted an outpouring of community spirit and volunteering.

Many older people made significant contributions to their communities during lockdown, with 30% of people aged 50 to 70 volunteering informally and 87% saying they wanted to continue.

Another study last year noted the rise of the digital volunteer, with more than 90% of voluntary organisations moving operations online during the pandemic.

For older people who would like to get involved with a charity then remote volunteering roles may continue to be an option this year.

But what are the benefits of volunteering when older?

Often retirees choose to volunteer after retirement to keep active and busy, as well as for the opportunity to make new social connections. In fact, the Centre for Ageing Better points out that volunteering enables people to make friends and gain a sense of purpose, as well as making people happy and improving self-esteem.

People who receive positive feedback about their volunteer work are less likely to be depressed, plus there is evidence that people who volunteer regularly are likely to live longer. Research shows that people who volunteered had their risk of dying reduced by as much as 22%.

Volunteering is great for overall wellbeing too. The LSE highlighted that volunteering boosted wellbeing in three key areas – giving to others which can give a real sense of purpose and, interacting with other people can reduce loneliness and increase confidence.

People also often get the chance to learn new skills which can have a positive impact on their wellbeing.

Now that the pandemic is easing, there are likely to be many opportunities to volunteer in 2022. And for those that don’t want to mix too much with others yet, why not research remote volunteering roles?

We know our residents have really got to grip with technology over the past two years having been faced with several lockdowns, so now could be a great time to utilise those skills and offer your services remotely.

For anyone that wants to get involved with a charity in their local area visit the Reach Volunteering web site which can help you find roles that match your skills and interests.

Visit the Reach Volunteering website to view volunteering opportunities in your area.