Volunteering for Positive Health and Wellbeing
One thing I keep learning is that the secret of being happy is doing things for other people – Dick Gregory
Research* has indicated that volunteering helps increase physical activity and reduce stress. Even just having a reason to leave the house gets you up and out for a walk, after Covid-19 lockdown of course! Volunteering mostly involves contact with other people, in-person, over the phone or online – there are opportunities for volunteering remotely for community organisations, from home. This reduces social isolation and loneliness, increasing feelings of fulfilment, purpose and belonging. This generates a deeper connection to communities and others and improves wellbeing.
Volunteering increases the dopamine affect with the ‘do good, feel good’ mantra. 93% of people surveyed said the highest benefit was enjoyment, followed by personal achievement, then making a difference at 90%. Alleviation of depression is one of the biggest mental health benefits of volunteering.
Active Student is the University of Brighton’s volunteering program. We have designated Volunteer Officers for each campus to support students in their volunteering journey. They are all remotely working to source valuable opportunities that you can get involved with even now!
At a time when people are feeling anxious and isolated volunteering your time to help others can not only greatly benefit those in your local community, but it may well improve your own mental health and wellbeing.
If volunteering is something you would like to explore, get in touch with Active Student. We are working with students to source volunteering from home volunteering during the Covid-19 lockdown.
For more information on Active Student and our contact details, please visit: www.brighton.ac.uk/careers/volunteering
*Volunteer Scotland and Benefits to University Students through volunteering in a health context: A new modelIain Williamson, Diane Wildbur, Katie Bell, Judith Tanner & Hannah Matthews 2017