Why volunteer

Ten ways your time can make a change for the better

Royal Voluntary Service is one of the largest volunteer organisations in the country. The variety of volunteer opportunities means our volunteers are never bored. They love their work with older people because it’s enjoyable, rewarding and inspiring. Here are ten reasons to join the many thousands who already volunteer with us.

1. Make a difference to the lives of older people

Sharing time changes lives: that’s the one strongest and simplest reason to volunteer with Royal Voluntary Service. By giving your time to do something practical for an older person in your community you help enrich their lives so they can stay active, independent and continue to contribute to society.

2. Make yourself feel great

A couple of hours of volunteering make you feel great; it just takes one visit, one conversation, one laugh from someone who’s spent a few days alone, or one heartfelt thank you. And it’s also a fact that people who share their time with others through volunteering live longer!

3. Get to know some really interesting people

Here’s something you probably didn’t know: volunteer work is fun. Royal Voluntary Service work is about getting to know some of the most interesting people in your neighbourhood, building friendships, sharing a cup of tea and enjoying each others’ company. 

4. Be inspired and be inspiring

The older people in your community have a unique perspective on life. They’ve lived longer, experienced more, learned how to survive through good times and bad. They are a constant source of inspiration that too few get to know. Whatever your age and life experiences, you’ll also find the feeling’s mutual. Phrases like ‘my lifeline’, ‘my rock’, ‘the person who lifts my day’, ‘the person I couldn’t be without’ show the value of what you do as a volunteer. 

5. Get out and about locally

As a volunteer, you’ll not be stuck doing one thing; and you’ll certainly not be stuck indoors. We need you to spend a little time with local older people and help out wherever they need. That could mean anything from sharing a cup of tea, going to the shops together or getting to and from the hospital. But it could also be going to football match or helping someone to skype their grandchildren. One thing’s for sure, volunteering keeps you active! Royal Voluntary Service has 67 local offices up and down the country. We’re structured so that every part of the UK is covered by our service to older people. That means there are, more than likely, volunteer opportunities close to you.

6. Career kudos

If you’ve started looking for work or want to get back into it after a break, volunteering is a great way to show your commitment and get something worthwhile on your CV. Royal Voluntary Service is a large, established and well-known UK charity, which we hope will open doors for you as you develop your career.

7. Learn new skills

As Royal Voluntary Service grows, we're going to need lots of people to do lots of different things – driving, helping with art or IT classes, working in a shop or in a hospital ward, or simply spending time visiting someone. We also need help with specialist roles – like social media, marketing, fundraising or organising things. Once you’re on board there’s almost limitless scope to use your existing skills and develop new ones to help us improve our work with older people. 

8. Make the most of your retirement

If you’ve recently retired, volunteering is a great way to continue to do worthwhile work and keep your confidence levels high at a time when it can be difficult to transition out of employment. You’ve probably got a wealth of skills and experiences that could be really useful to your local Royal Voluntary Service.

9. It's flexible

Volunteering can fit around your busy life. It can be as a couple of hours every couple of months or 15 mins once a week. You tell us that you would like to get out of volunteering and tell us about your time pressures and we will find something that works for you. 

10. Be part of an important, and growing, movement 

Royal Voluntary Service has big plans for the future. We’ve already got 40,000 volunteers all over the country. We want to reach a further two million older people over the next ten years. It’s incredibly important we achieve this, as the UK’s population ages and needs more and more local volunteer support like this. We want to help create a society where everyone feels valued and involved whatever their age. By volunteering now you can help today’s generation of older people live and enjoy the kind of old age they deserve. And if we all take care of each other today, we build a good example for tomorrow’s generations.

But don’t take our word for it. Find out what real Royal Voluntary Service volunteers think about the work they do with us.

Real life stories

Find out more about volunteering with Royal Voluntary Service from the people who give their time to make life better for older people.

Meet our volunteers 

Find out how we can help

If you know a family member, friend or neighbour who is lonely or isolated, find out how your local Royal Voluntary Service can help.

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