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Nine reasons to volunteer

In between homework, revising for exams and hanging out with friends, it can be difficult to find the time to add another thing to your list. But volunteering for your DofE will take you on an exciting journey – helping you learn new skills, grow and develop, and improve your chances of getting a job. Whatever activity you choose to do for the Volunteering section, it will bring huge benefits to you, your wellbeing and your local community. Here, we’ve picked our top nine reasons why you should volunteer.

  • Get experience. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to explore different industries and the types of roles and jobs you could apply for in the future. It also proves a lot of things to potential employers – that you take part in meaningful activities in your spare time and that you’re a well-rounded person.
  • Develop new skills. Your volunteering experience gives you the chance to develop a range of ‘soft’ skills – including problem solving and team work – which you can easily reference in your CV and college or university applications and bring up at interviews.
  • Connect with others. Volunteering helps you meet other ‘like-minded’ people in the community or organisation you’re supporting. It’s a great way to make friends – especially if you’ve moved to a new area – and vital contacts that could come in handy for your future career or personal development. If you’re naturally shy, volunteering is also a great way to strengthen your social skills.
  • Helping others. Volunteering can be an extremely rewarding experience, whether it's walking the dog of someone who is ill or giving lonely people some company.
  • Gain confidence and self-esteem. Meeting new people and doing things you might not normally get the chance to will help boost your confidence and give you a real sense of achievement, pride and identity.
  • Purpose. Volunteering can help you feel like you’re a part of something outside your normal circle of friends, family and school life. You’ll be making a difference to your local community and be able to see the changes you’ve made happen.
  • Get out your comfort zone. By volunteering, you can challenge yourself, try something new, achieve personal goals, practice existing skills you’ve gained through other sections of your DofE and develop a hidden talent.
  • Improve your health. According to the NHS, helping others positively affects our mental and physical wellbeing – stimulating the reward areas of our brains to create positive feelings.
  • Enjoyment. As well as feeling great from using your free time to help out and make a difference, you can also pick to do something you’ve always wanted to have a go at or enjoy and throw yourself into it – having fun and making memories that will last a lifetime along the way.

Whether you’re already a keen volunteer or the Volunteering section of your DofE is the first time you’ll be giving volunteering a go, we hope you enjoy yourself and gain a lot from it. For more information on different volunteering options, take a look at our Opportunity Finder.

For more career ideas and inspiration, visit icould.com.

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