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What can you get out of volunteering?

We want to make sure you get as much out of volunteering as you put into it. That’s why we work hard to match your aims, goals, aspirations, personality, available time and everything else with opportunities in your area. 

We ask our wonderful volunteers every year what they’ve gained from their experiences with us. Their answers show that volunteering is not only good for the community, but can improve your physical and mental health and wellbeing. Here are just some of the things our teams say they get from giving their time:

  • New skills and valuable work experience.
  • Making new friends
  • Better physical and mental health and wellbeing
  • Giving something back
  • Improving your confidence
  • Sense of connection to others in the community
  • Improve how things work for the better
  • Show your commitment.


Find a volunteering opportunity

Let’s take a look at the volunteering opportunities in your area and we’ll show you all the ways you can Play Your Part and offer support in your local community or NHS.

Your time, your goals

When you’re giving your time, skills and services, you deserve to get something back. Most of our volunteers have specific reasons for what they do – we’ve shared some of them here:

New skills and valuable work experience

Whether you’re studying, starting a career, looking for work or trying to improve your promotion prospects, volunteering can be a great way to learn and develop the skills you need, both practically and personally. We’ll offer training where it’s needed and help you find the resources and support you need.

Making new friends

Sometimes life changes leave us a little isolated. Maybe you’ve recently moved to a new area. Perhaps you’ve lost a partner. Or you might just have lost touch with people as their circumstances change. Volunteering reconnects you with your community and helps create new friendships that keep loneliness at bay. 

Better physical & mental health and wellbeing

We know that keeping active, mentally as well as physically, has a powerful influence over our health and wellbeing. More than 80 per cent of our volunteers tell us the work they do has improved their mental health and sense of wellbeing. Almost half think it’s improved their physical health – not surprising when you think of the steps it takes to wheel a trolley around an entire hospital! 

Giving something back

Maybe you’ve benefited from volunteering services at some time in your life, or you’ve recently had first-hand experience of the support our NHS can offer. Perhaps you just feel like you’ve been fortunate, and you’d like to share that with others. Volunteering gives you that opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ or to give something back. 

Improving your confidence

Sometimes life can knock your confidence, for example losing a job or needing extended time off work. Sometimes people are just a little shy and want to improve their personal skills.

Volunteering gives you a change to find your feet in your own time and at your own pace, allowing you to build your confidence in a way that works for you.

Every individual has their own reason for volunteering and their own ideas about what it will do for them. There’s no right or wrong approach, it’s all about exploring the opportunities on offer and finding the one you know is right for you. 

The most important thing about volunteering is that you should enjoy it on your own terms and that it's a rewarding experience for you, as well as for the people you help.

Sense of connection to others in the community

Volunteering connects you directly with those around you, and is particularly beneficial for your local community and sense of belonging. Volunteering can help people feel less isolated in their surroundings and form meaningful connections with the people around them.

Improve how things work for the better

By volunteering your time to help local community services and groups, you gain insight into the way things work and experience these processes first-hand. You may have the opportunity to implement change where you see fit - and improve the way things work for the better, benefiting both your experience and others’.

Show your commitment

By volunteering your free time, you can show potential employers that you are truly motivated by the cause you are passionate about. Volunteering shows the commitment and initiative that is very attractive for those hiring in a variety of sectors.

Volunteering benefits for students

Students and young adults can reap many benefits through their role as a volunteer. Not only can volunteering make a nice change in the day-to-day routine and be something you look forward to, it can also give young adults an advantage. The skills you pick up in your role can help in other areas of your life, whether it be applying for university or a new job. Strengthen your CV and find out more about how volunteering is beneficial to students and young adults.

Want to know more?

Royal Voluntary Service has been inspiring volunteers for more than 80 years.