Want to volunteer in retirement? Here are 5 great benefits of giving your time to others
Between 1-7 June this year, it will be Volunteers’ Week 2023, dedicated to the hard work that millions of volunteers put into various causes across the UK.
8 May also marked the start of the Big Help Out, a campaign connecting volunteers to local causes to celebrate the King’s coronation.
England is a nation of volunteers. Statista reports that 55% of people volunteered at least once in 2021/22, while 34% volunteered their time at least once a month.
Volunteering can be a terrific way to spend some of your time once you decide to stop working. So, if you’re thinking about becoming a volunteer in retirement, discover five fantastic benefits that can come with giving your time to a worthy cause.
1. It offers some structure to your time
While you might be pleased to finally escape your 7 am alarm that defined your weekday mornings throughout your working life, it can also be a strange experience to lose the structure that work offers.
Rather than waking up and having somewhere to be, you might suddenly find yourself stuck without a target for your day.
Volunteering can help bridge this gap, offering some structure to your life and defining your free time. By having a set timetable for where you need to be and for how long, it can help to ease the transition from work into retirement.
2. You can enjoy the social aspects you might miss from work
Socialising is a significant part of work life, with the cliché of conversations at the water cooler or in the kitchen being part of the fabric of employment.
However, you might suddenly find yourself having far fewer conversations in retirement without these informal interactions that used to make up your day.
Meanwhile, volunteering offers you an opportunity to meet and chat to lots of like-minded people. You may even make some new, lifelong friends who you want to spend time with outside of wherever you’re volunteering.
If you like socialising but find it difficult talking to new people, then volunteering can be especially useful, as you’ll have whatever the task is at hand as a topic of conversation.
3. Assisting with a worthy cause can give you a sense of purpose and achievement
Another aspect of work that you might find missing in retirement is a sense of purpose and achievement.
While work can be stressful, completing big projects or meeting a customer’s expectations can be hugely rewarding. So, when you retire, you might lose opportunities for this satisfaction.
Fortunately, you can gain the same sense of purpose and achievement from volunteering. Whether you’re helping a whole community, a single family, or even an individual, knowing that you’ve made a difference in someone’s life can offer you some much-needed purpose in later life.
4. There are mental health benefits associated with volunteering
There are also personal benefits that come from volunteering, one of the most significant being the boost it can give your mental health.
Depression and loneliness can become problems in retirement, particularly if you live by yourself. So, it may be well worth considering taking proactive steps to protect your mental health.
According to Everyone Health, research has shown that volunteering can:
- Reduce stress
- Help combat depression
- Prevent feelings of isolation
- Increase your confidence
- Make you feel happy.
Not only can you contribute to a cause by volunteering, but you will also be taking a step to protect your own mental wellbeing.
5. It can be fun to contribute to a cause
Perhaps the biggest benefit of volunteering is that it can be fun! You can volunteer wherever you like, so you could choose to do something that you know brings you joy.
Whether that’s helping out with a local football team, or giving your time to a charity that’s had a positive impact on you personally, it can be truly enjoyable to contribute to causes that mean something to you.
Or, you might find it fun to take on an entirely unknown challenge and learn some new skills that you might not have had time to when you were working.
While volunteering can replace some of the positive elements that you might miss from employment, it doesn’t need to feel like work or have the same stress associated with it. Remember that volunteering is just as much for your benefit, so make sure you enjoy the time you’re giving.
Get in touch
If you’d like to find out how you can achieve your goals for retirement, we can help at Britannic Place.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01905 419890 to speak to an experienced adviser today.