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5 reasons to make time for volunteering (even when life gets in the way)

Volunteering is often viewed as a selfless act dedicated to helping others, but the pressures of life – such as cost of living, health concerns, and lack of time – can easily get in the way. 

That’s reflected in new statistics from Volunteering Queensland, which show a drop in the number of volunteers serving our communities. The data reveals a 20% decline in formal volunteering with organisations, and a 15% decrease in informal volunteering (like taking out your neighbour’s rubbish bin for them). 

The same study also revealed that 30 percent of respondents would like to volunteer more, as they know exactly how valuable it is.  

At Feros Care, we know life can be busy and challenging. But we also know how much of an impact volunteering can have. We try to make it as easy as possible for you to make a difference, and you can contribute through one of our Feros Care Volunteering programs from as little as just one hour a week. 

Here are five reasons to keep volunteering on your to-do list, whether it’s something you already love to do, or something you’ve always considered but haven’t yet taken the plunge.  

1/  Boosts your mental health

According to the State of Volunteering in Queensland 2024 Report from Volunteering Queensland, research indicates that volunteering leads to improved mental health. The social interaction and community engagement associated with volunteering are known to reduce stress and increase mental wellbeing. 

“It’s great for my own mental health, it makes me feel happy and gets me out of the house. It makes for interesting and valuable social contacts and I feel good contributing and giving back and appreciate life more in general,” says Glenys, who volunteers with Feros Care’s In Great Company program. 

Another study, by the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, found that women who volunteer experience lower levels of depression and higher levels of satisfaction and wellbeing compared to those who do not volunteer.  

2/  Enhances your physical health

Volunteering isn’t just good for the mind. It’s good for the body too! 

Activities involved in some volunteer work, especially those requiring some physical engagement, can improve overall physical health. Think bowling with a buddy, or weekly walks along the beach with your new friend. Regular interaction and activity help maintain physical fitness and can lead to a healthier, happier lifestyle. 

 “Volunteering supports my own health and wellness during times of stress, both physically and mentally. It really is so good for you!” explains Volunteer Andrew. 

 3/  Cultivates compassion and empathy

Volunteering can enrich your mental wellbeing by fostering deeper levels of compassion and empathy. When you engage with people from different backgrounds, especially those facing challenges such as ageing, isolation, or mobility impairments, you gain insight into their experiences and perspectives.  

When you give your time to someone within your community through one of the Feros Care Volunteering programs, you also unlock doors to personal growth and wellbeing. 

4/  Deepens personal connections

Volunteering often places you in a unique one-on-one setting with someone who appreciates company and support. When you spend regular time with someone, you develop a meaningful and lasting relationship that enriches both your lives. These personal connections can provide a sense of community and belonging, which is especially valuable if you’re looking to feel more integrated and connected in your area.  

One of our volunteers, Jasmine, can vouch for this firsthand, saying – “It has enriched my life by showing me how precious every moment of life is, as well as how powerful human connection and a sense of community can be.”  

5/  Increases life satisfaction

Volunteers often experience a ‘helper’s high’, a powerful feeling of joy and energy which comes from giving back.  

The Australian Centre on Quality of Life at Deakin University regularly measures life satisfaction across different demographics, including volunteers. Their findings consistently show that individuals who engage in volunteer work report higher levels of life satisfaction compared to those who do not volunteer.  This point alone should make you want to rush out to volunteer in your local community! 

Our volunteer Judi could not agree more, saying, “volunteering gives me a sense of purpose and adds to my overall life satisfaction, ultimately making me a happier, healthier person.  

Fellow volunteer Keith echoes this sentiment, adding: “By helping someone and bringing joy to their life, you not only make a difference in their world but also enrich your own. I would wholeheartedly recommend volunteering with seniors to everyone. It offers a sense of satisfaction that surpasses other types of volunteering.” 

Volunteer hugging a senior woman

So, as we can see, the benefits of volunteering can reach deeply into both emotional and physical aspects of your life, enhancing your sense of community fulfillment.  

When you give your time to someone who is socially isolated or lonely through a Feros Care program like In Great Company, you also unlock doors to personal growth and wellbeing. 

If you would enjoy more meaningful interactions and personal growth, explore volunteering through our In Great Company program.  

If you would like further information or to learn more about other Feros Care volunteering opportunities, please phone us on 1300 736 930, reach out to us at [email protected], or click here. 

We welcome you to join us at your own pace and start your volunteering journey whenever you’re ready. 


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