NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT TO VOLUNTEER

By David Gledhill, Marketing & Communications Lead

 

PEOPLE volunteer for all sorts of reasons, and the best bit is that most get more out of it than they put in.

At the Torbay Community Development Trust, we are lucky enough to come across volunteers in so many aspects of our work, in fact, so many events and services provided in the Bay would not exist if it weren’t for volunteers.

The Torbay Community Helpline is, in part, staffed by volunteers and those lovely people who welcome you to the vaccination centres – yes, they too are volunteers, and it is difficult to imagine where we would be with the vaccination programme without them.

So many events happen in the Bay, which simply could not go ahead without the time and expertise put in by an army of willing volunteers who work for nothing – except a level of self-satisfaction.

During the worst of the coronavirus crisis, there were 1,700 people who stepped up through TCDT to help friends, neighbours, relatives and even strangers to get through by doing whatever was necessary.

They shopped for each other, collected prescriptions, walked dogs, picked up the phone, and knocked on doors to make sure no one became lonely or isolated and many of those volunteers are continuing to help today.

Again at the height of the crisis, we identified 67 groups of neighbours who had set up loosely defined Good Neighbour schemes in their communities with the main aim of simply looking out for each other.

It only takes two minutes to register your own scheme, and one of our Community Builders will be in touch with a helpful information pack and a few suggestions about how to progress it. Go to https://bit.ly/goodneighbourtorbay or call the Community Helpline on 01803 446022.

It doesn’t need a calamity for volunteers to come into their own, and it is true to say that many of the clubs and societies that exist in the Bay, wouldn’t if it wasn’t for volunteers who help with all aspects from the trustee board to providing the refreshments.

The cost of living crisis is now biting hard, but it will get much worse before it gets better, which means that many people will rely on volunteers to get by. Here are the top ten reasons you should become a volunteer.

  1. It is fun. It is great to know that what you are doing is making a difference. You can put a smile on your face through the pride and satisfaction that helping someone can bring.
  2.  It provides a sense of purpose. One small act of kindness can make all the difference and trigger a chain reaction with others striving to help and achieve change
  3. Join a community. There is nothing better than being a part of something that you can take pride in alongside others who believe in the same cause.
  4. Meet new friends. Sharing a common interest can lead to strong bonds, possibly with people you would not otherwise meet in life
  5. Giving back. So often we have hobbies and interests that we want to develop and rely on others to do so. Once learned, you too can share the knowledge with others.
  6. Inspiration. Get out of your comfort zone and take on something new. See things from a different perspective. Challenge yourself and your beliefs.
  7. Improve your CV. Jobs are difficult enough come by in the first place, but having the inside track by first volunteering for an organisation can put you in good stead when the dream job becomes available.
  8. Learn new skills. As well as showing you are prepared to do things for others, you can also learn as you go in subjects you may otherwise struggle to get to know
  9. Change the world. Just one step at a time. Channel your passion and inspire others to do the same.
  10. Be happier and healthier. Many studies show that volunteering not only makes you happier, it is also good for your health by reducing stress levels or through physical labour.

So there you go, just ten excellent reasons to get out and start volunteering. Never fear; there are hundreds, probably thousands of opportunities out there in the Bay in things that will interest you.

So start your journey to making a difference by calling 01803 446022 or by filling in a short form at bit.ly/torbayhelpline

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