“What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good” – Aristotle
This quote was on a certificate I was given yesterday by the fundraising department of St Peter’s Hospice.
St Peter’s Hospice is very appreciative of its volunteers and rewards them frequently with gestures of thanks. They have good reason. Volunteers assist in all areas of the organisation, saving millions of pounds and offering a highly professional service. In return they are given high-quality training on a regular basis, frequent communication and frequent thank-you events.
On Helpguide.org the benefits of volunteering have been explored and they have deduced that there are four main positive outcomes:
- Volunteering connects you to others
- Volunteering is good for your mind and body
- Volunteering can advance your career
- Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life
Although I work for St Peter’s Hospice, my very part-time role enables me to also volunteer. There are different ways to help and I choose to do occasional shifts as a volunteer receptionist and assist with Fundraising in any way that I can. The certificate I was given yesterday was for my fundraising help. I love to go to events and represent St Peter’s, whether it’s marshalling a walk, selling at the market, holding a bucket, selling raffle tickets or holding my own event.
Every year St Peter’s Hospice holds an awards evening where those who qualify are given awards for 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 years volunteering. I am awe of these people and even know a wonderful lady who has completed 35 years. In addition to these awards, at last night’s ceremony many others, including myself, were thanked for supporting the fundraisers. We were given a mug and a certificate and made to feel very special. It is not these gestures which make us want to give up our time but it certainly helps!
There are so many opportunities to volunteer in our communities and everyone can do something somewhere. It’s worth sticking with what interests us and or/what we’re good at in order to get maximum satisfaction. I also do some work for the Gloucestershire Cricket Board, combining my loves of cricket, admin and schools. I organise entries to the annual primary schools competition and I love it (except when the teachers don’t read their emails and drive me insane).
If you fancy exploring the world of volunteering just go your search engine and type it in. I tried ‘Volunteer in Bristol’ and got loads of results. I’d love to know how you get on!