Volunteering – Where Can I Start?

If you’ve been thinking about volunteering, that’s great! There are heaps of places out there that are always looking for keen helpers, and many of them welcome volunteers from ages 16+.

Before we get into some places where you might like to volunteer, let’s have a quick look at the benefits of volunteering.

 

What’s in it for you?

 

Well you won’t get rich financially – but you’ll get rich in many other ways:

  • Experience
  • Learning new skills
  • Reduce your own stress
  • Combat depression
  • Mentally and/or physically stimulating
  • Provides a sense of purpose
  • Helps other people
  • Makes you feel better about yourself
  • Great for your resume
  • Benefit your community
  • Make new friends
  • Network
  • Challenging
  • Fun

Whatever your motivation for volunteering and no matter what your interests are, there will be a way you can get involved with something that matters to you, and that will also make a positive difference to you.

 

Skills you could gain or improve on

 

Include but not limited to:

  • Industry-related skills
  • The ability to work in a team
  • Leadership
  • Problem solving and adaptability
  • Communicating with clients and stakeholders
  • The ability to plan and prioritise work
  • Sales skills
  • Time management
  • Report writing
  • Improved interpersonal skills.

 

Not sure where to start?

 

Here are some ideas for places to volunteer your time:

Miracle Babies – Make a difference in a little baby’s life by making them a little blanket or beanie. Contact your local hospital or an organisation like Miracle Babies to find out if you can help.

Clean Up Australia – Volunteer to participate in Clean Up Australia or other Clean Up projects.

Landcare – Find a Landcare group in your area and get involved in tree-planting and other ways of looking after the land.

Daffodil Day – One way you can show you care about beating cancer this Daffodil Day is to volunteer your time to help sell Cancer Council’s merchandise.

Conservation Volunteers – Conservation Volunteers welcomes people with a love of the outdoors and interest in the environment to get involved. Volunteers include students, professionals, international visitors and retirees. Almost anybody can get involved. You do not need any prior skills or experience, just a reasonable level of health and fitness.

Letterbox Project – This project aims to connect thousands of older Australians who have been excluded from their usual social networks.

 

You’ve got nothing to lose

 

With so many choices and with so many benefits, why wouldn’t you consider giving volunteering a go?

If you don’t enjoy it then you can always try something else (once your commitment is complete), and you never know where it could lead you.

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