What is volunteering?
Generally, volunteering is described as an unpaid activity where someone gives their time to help an organisation or an individual who they are not related to.
There is no one national definition of volunteering, but for more information on commonly used definitions go to Volunteering England’s website.
There are many reasons that people give for choosing to volunteer.
For some, volunteering can be a route to employment, or a chance to try something new which may lead to a career change. For these people, volunteering can be a way of:
- Gaining new skills, knowledge and experience
- Developing existing skills and knowledge
- Enhancing a CV
- Improving one's employment prospects
- Gaining an accreditation
- Using one's professional skills and knowledge to benefit others
For others, volunteering appeals because of its social benefits. These include:
- Meeting new people
- Making new friends
- A chance to socialise
- Getting to know the local community
- Having fun!
Many people volunteer for a variety of other reasons, such as:
- Giving something back to an organisation that has impacted on a person's life, either directly or indirectly
- A desire to make a difference to the lives of others
- Helping the environment
- Helping others less fortunate or without a voice
- Feeling part of a team
- Feeling valued
- Having quality time away from work or a busy lifestyle
- Building up trust
- Gaining confidence and self-esteem
- Finding a volunteering role that suits their own needs and lifestyle
Finally, volunteering can be a means of helping people use free time usefully
It can provide enormous personal satisfaction – a sense of fulfilment.
And it can help people improve their physical and mental health
Bradford Council offers a wide variety of volunteering opportunities. There is bound to be something for everyone - volunteering is open to all (although some of the opportunities may ask for volunteers of a certain age or background)