It’s official, and straight from the NHS website….
There’s good evidence that volunteering brings benefits to both the person volunteering and the people and organisations they support.
Volunteering involves spending unpaid time doing something to help other people or groups, other than (or as well as) close relatives. Evidence suggests that volunteering brings health benefits to both the volunteers and the people they help.
According to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), during the period August 2012 to April 2013, 44% of adults in England said they had volunteered at least once in the previous year.
In an attempt to measure the benefits on volunteers, Volunteering England commissioned the University of Wales to undertake a review of research on the subject. Dr Rachel Casiday, lecturer at the Department of Voluntary Sector Studies at the University of Wales, Lampeter, led the review. She describes its findings below.
“Peer support doesn’t just work one way,” says Dr Casiday. “Even if you’re in a mentoring role, simply talking to someone else who is struggling with the same issue can support you as well. It’s not just an act of charity. In a lot of cases, the volunteer is helped as much as the patient.”