Volunteering has a resounding effect on a community, and as it happens, good deeds lead to good grey matter. ABS research shows 61% of Australian volunteers who gave up their time at least five times a year felt less stress, anxiety and experienced lower levels of depression.
Studies also found that volunteering contributed to an individual’s physical health, sense of achievement, fulfilment, and created new friendships. We asked two FMD clients why they keep helping out year after year and why they encourage others to do the same. Here are some tips on how to find your perfect volunteering position:
Look for areas that need you
Alan Lewis, recipient of The Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for service to the community of Malvern, says volunteering is about offering your skills beyond your paid profession. “My involvement has been based on the belief there are skills I have which should be used for the benefit of other people in the community who could use my help.”
Lewis, who has been providing voluntary career advice and guidance to young adults for over 25 years says volunteering is “a wonderful opportunity of not only becoming better educated and informed but [also] being prepared to learn new things while giving which is a prerequisite to being more effective in whatever we choose to do.”
Focus on your skills
When looking for the right volunteering opportunity for you, Lewis suggests that “any potential volunteer needs some relevant training, experience or knowledge as essential background for what they choose to do [and] have a very strong interest in a field which you will make a valuable contribution”.
“Everyone can offer something to their community”, says Lyn Leslie, who volunteers at Kilparrin Teaching and Assessment School and Services, and for 33 years has donated her time at Novita child development, rehabilitation and disability services, both located in South Australia. Leslie says that volunteering is about applying yourself often, even in small amounts. “After a day’s volunteer work in the classroom with the children, I feel satisfied with what I have contributed and know it’s appreciated… I hope to continue volunteering for as long as I can.”
How to get involved
To discover where and how to get involved in your community or area of interest, visit: www.govolunteer.com.au or contact your local council for opportunities close to home.
General advice disclaimer: This article has been prepared by FMD Financial and is intended to be a general overview of the subject matter. The information in this article is not intended to be comprehensive and should not be relied upon as such. In preparing this article we have not taken into account the individual objectives or circumstances of any person. Legal, financial and other professional advice should be sought prior to applying the information contained on this article to particular circumstances. FMD Financial, its officers and employees will not be liable for any loss or damage sustained by any person acting in reliance on the information contained on this article. FMD Group Pty Ltd ABN 99 103 115 591 trading as FMD Financial is a Corporate Authorised Representative of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977. The FMD advisers are Authorised Representatives of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977.