Our Newsroom contains Act Belong Commit updates, inspiring stories and the latest evidence-based research on the many ways you can keep mentally healthy.
National Volunteer Week 2023
Posted 15 May 2023
What is Volunteering?
National Volunteer Week (15-21 May 2023) is Australia’s largest celebration of volunteers!
Volunteering Australia defines volunteering as “time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain”. There are many benefits to volunteering and plenty of opportunities available.
These might be weekly and long-term volunteer options, but there are also one-off options where you can help in the running of an event for example.
Benefits of Volunteering
Volunteering is one of the most powerful expressions of ‘Commit – do something meaningful’ in the Act Belong Commit message with proven benefits on the individuals volunteering and the community. In addition to increased social connection other benefits include:
- Creates a sense of purpose which may improve mood
- Builds confidence and improved self-esteem
- Learn something new
- Gain transferable skills from team work and collaboration
For additional information check out Volunteering Australia’s Evidence Insights: Volunteering and Mental Health, which combines the research on the effects of volunteering on mental health, drawing on local and international studies.
How to get started
If you’re thinking about volunteering, it’s important to consider a few things to make the volunteer experience worthwhile for you and the people you are supporting.
1. What field do you want to volunteer in?
Think about your interests or a job you might like to pursue in the future. This will help you feel connected to the volunteering experience and increase the meaning it can provide you. Getting experience in a sector of interest could assist you in getting work in this field in the future.
2. Set aside a realistic chunk of time each week or month that you could volunteer.
How many hours and days a week or month can you commit yourself to a position? Factors such as work, family and social commitments, study etc. will affect how much you can volunteer. Being realistic about your availability can ensure you don’t overcommit yourself. There are plenty of part-time and informal volunteering opportunities.
3. Find volunteer opportunities
There are plenty of volunteer opportunities on the Act Belong Commit Activity Finder. Use this tool to find volunteering activities near you!
Volunteering WA offer a wide range of volunteer opportunities. You can use their database to input your location, key words and interests to guide the results.
4. Write down objectives that you would like to achieve while volunteering and check in with these goals over time
Check in with yourself every few months to make sure you still enjoy the volunteer position. Are you still passionate about the position? What is it teaching you? If you feel like changing things up, you could speak to the volunteer coordinator to see if there are other roles available within the same organisation or if you could be given more or less responsibility.
If you are already volunteering, well done! We hope you are enjoying the benefits that come with it. If not, check out www.voluteeringwa.org.au and consider getting involved!