Volunteer and get a health boost!
We have over 200 volunteers at Cotswold Friends. In fact, all over the United Kingdom hundreds of thousands of ordinary Brits volunteer to make Britain a better country.
Our 200 volunteers support over 800 Cotswold residents who are lonely and isolated by helping them get out and about by using our community transport services. Many of these older residents of the Cotswolds use our other community services too attending our lunch clubs, craft clubs, annual events, and making use of our befriending and carer respite services.
All of our volunteers agree that volunteering adds real value to their lives.
“The best thing about volunteering is meeting clients and getting to know their stories; knowing that you are giving the carers the opportunity for some time to meet friends or just even to do the weekly shop.” Denise, Befriending Services Volunteer
There’s evidence that helping others creates positive reactions that aren’t just mental health related. Research now tells us that those who give of themselves by volunteering appear to enjoy better overall health and a longer lifespan!
Over 50’s are less likely to suffer from high blood pressure than non-volunteers (Psychology and Aging, Carnegie Mellon Uni According to them, doing 200 hours of volunteer work a year could lower your blood pressure!
Other benefits of volunteering discovered include:
- • Lowers stress • Increases mental stimulation • Helps maintain memory and thinking skills • Increases self esteem • Helps overcome depression by taking your mind off your own problems • Increases social contact which boosts our ‘feel good’ factor-
It’s hard to think about volunteering to help others when your own life is stressful and fraught with the immediate needs of your family but it’s often easier to help others than those closest to you.
We get volunteers from all walks of life and each of them is matched with one of our services that suit them the most. They choose the hours and days that they are available too which makes it so much more enjoyable. Most of them stay with us for years.
During their time with us, our volunteers learn new skills like first aid, befriending and counselling. They discover new ways to enhance their own education and some use their experience to find a new position elsewhere. Friendships are forged and social isolation forgotten.
They talk about gaining a different perspective on their own problems and feel that they are adding value to the community they live in. Some of our volunteers are the same age as our clients and appreciate that they are needed.
We witness the changes in our volunteers over the months and years they work with us. We see increased self-esteem, more laughter, more friendships and an even greater desire to improve their community through volunteering.
Research tells us that volunteering helps you, the volunteer, as much as it helps those you are caring for.
You are the one making the difference, and let’s face it, if you don’t do it, who will?
Have a look at our volunteering positions and get in touch.