Volunteering of any kind has many benefits for the volunteer as well as the recipient. Great satisfaction can be gained by giving time and effort to a worthwhile cause or organisation. Volunteers may be motivated by a passion such as child poverty, animal welfare or conservation. Getting involved can make a real difference to a cause which is close to the heart.

For those seeking employment, volunteering can provide an opportunity to work in a particular field before committing to paid employment. Potential employers look favourably on experience gained in a voluntary role. The fact that someone has volunteered, in any setting, shows initiative, motivation and regard for others.

Making a new circle of friends is a valuable benefit of joining a voluntary group. This may be particularly beneficial to people who have moved to a new area. Working with like-minded people is enjoyable and satisfying.

New skills can be gained whilst volunteering and this on its own may enhance your CV and job prospects. In addition, sharing existing skills with others can be a rewarding opportunity to give something back.

The benefits of volunteering outdoor (particularly in a beautiful environment like Saintbridge Nature Reserve) are well documented. Both physical and mental wellbeing are enhanced. There is certainly something about green spaces that lifts the spirits.

A survey in the Guardian newspaper (ICM research) found that nearly half of all volunteers (47%) say volunteering has improved their physical health and fitness. Of the people who had volunteered for more than two years, 48% say that volunteering makes them less depressed.

When a volunteer group works to improve their environment (such as FOSP) they feel part of the surrounding community, with a sense of ownership and pride. As the improvements to an area progresses, there is a knock on effect whereby littering and dumping reduces significantly. It can also very rewarding and motivating to receive compliments from members of the public.

With so many opportunities to volunteer in our county, there really is something for everyone. You can visit Do-it.org to find yours.

Barbara, a FOSP Volunteer

Please help us maintain the pond and surrounding area by making a donation to help fund the work we do as volunteers. You’ll be helping us with your donation, 100% of funds received go to the work we do in conservation.[paypal_donation_button]