a senior woman picking apples and volunteering in a community garden

Have You Considered Volunteering?

Volunteer Opportunities for Seniors

The benefits of volunteering go wider than just the cause that you’re helping. That’s because not only does it offer essential help to a whole range of organizations, but the benefits for you can also be immense. Whether you're retired and faced with a greater presence of free time, or just looking for a new hobby, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities for seniors!

When we give to others, it can have a tremendous impact on our well-being too. We all know that when you have something to get up for in the morning and you feel motivated and ready for the day ahead, that in itself can help us to feel more content.

The Benefits of Volunteering

Volunteering doesn't have to be something which take a up a lot of your time. Nor does it need to be something which you have to commit to indefinitely. There are many simple ways that you can help others, while feeling positive benefits to your own health and happiness. In fact, we've worked out that there are at least eight benefits to becoming a volunteer!

Benefit 1: Gain Confidence

Taking that first step of making contact and starting your volunteering journey can be a real confidence giver. Then there's the huge boost that can come from learning something new or using your existing skills to help others.

Benefit 2: Make a Difference

Volunteers can have a very real and positive impact on the lives of other people, the community in which they live and on society in general. Just a few hours a week can make such a difference to people in need.

Benefit 3: Meet New People

It's not always easy to find people who share your outlook on life, but volunteering is a way to meet new people who already share your passions. If you're all there to help, then you already have something in common!

Volunteering also attracts such a wide range of people. So that means it can help you meet others who you would never normally get the opportunity to chat with.

Benefit 4: Be Part of a Community

Volunteering is also a way to help you feel more connected to your local community and make it a better place to live. It also means you become part of a group that's there to support each other.

Benefit 5: Learn New Skills

Learning new skills keeps the brain active, and it can be so rewarding when we master something we've never done before. Whether it's learning how to use the till in a charity store or how to care for abandoned kittens in the rescue shelter, we're then able to make a difference in new ways.

However, it's not always about skills; sometimes it's about your qualities, an open mind, compassion and a willingness to pitch in. These can be some of the most valuable attributes.

Benefit 6: Take on a New Challenge

Volunteering might be about challenging yourself to try something different, maybe something you've always wanted to be part of but never had the time for before. It can also be an excellent opportunity to put your existing skills and experience to good use.

Benefit 7: Have Fun!

Most people have a great time when volunteering. When the focus is on helping others, it gives you the chance to escape from your own day-to-day routines and focus on your passions instead.

Benefit 8: It's Good for Both Your Body and Mind

It's well known that when we help and work with others, it can truly positively affect our well-being. When you volunteer, you keep in contact with other people — the support system then develops — and this can help prevent you from feeling isolated.

Volunteering Options for Seniors

There are so many volunteering opportunities, but where do you start if you've never volunteered before? We think it's really useful to take a moment to consider why you want to volunteer and what you would enjoy doing.

You might ask yourself if there is something quite specific that you'd like to do. Maybe it’s to improve the area in which you live. Or perhaps it's to meet new people. Or it might even be to share something that you're good at.

We've put together a list of volunteering opportunities that you might find in your local area. Hopefully, there's something here that will catch your eye!

Community Gardening

Whether it's transforming a local area to have more green spaces, helping to develop a local food garden, or brightening up areas with bulb planting, community gardening can bring a breath of fresh air to your life.

Charity Shops

So many people are helped through charity shops; from the customers who can find affordable goods, to the charity who can then fund other projects with the proceeds. Volunteering tasks are likely to include sorting through donated items, pricing and displaying stock, and helping customers who come into the store.

Animal Refuges

Whether it's walking adult dogs, socializing pups and kittens, or spending quiet time with shy or nervous animals, there are always jobs that need doing. There are also lots of opportunities for volunteers away from hands-on animal care. If you have DIY skills, there are always things that need mending or fixing. They may also need help with answering phone inquiries or greeting potential adopters.

Local Schools

Many schools need the help of volunteers, and this is an excellent way of getting involved in the community. Some schools have mentor programs to provide extra support for children who are struggling with their reading skills. Others need help with after school activities, such as clubs and sports, and then there are the fundraising events to be organized and promoted.

The benefits of volunteering are so widespread, and there are many other volunteer opportunities for seniors that you can look into. But remember that even an hour a week can be a huge help. We hope that you feel inspired to make a difference.