Great benefits in becoming a volunteer

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Over the next four weeks, Fairfax’s South Australian mastheads will be highlighting its local volunteers, community organisations and the work that is done for the benefit of the region.

Volunteers contribute immensely to the fabric of our communities.  

Whether it’s helping the hospital auxiliary, cooking sausages at a fair or creating a wig library for cancer victims, the benefit for the region is immense.

Unfortunately, especially in rural areas, organisations are closing their doors as the hunt for volunteers becomes harder and the older philanthropists are not being replaced.

It is a situation that is becoming dire in some regions, especially as the national population is growing older and the younger generations are proclaiming to be “time poor”.

The Office for Volunteers survey “Volunteering in South Australia 2016” has provided information about the state of volunteering.

There was a slight increase in activities from the 2014 survey, with South Australians performing about  1.76 million volunteer hours per week.

Across the state organisations which benefited most were sport and physical recreation groups with welfare and community, religious and educational groups finishing in that order.

The survey also showed regional residents were more likely to volunteer for sports and recreational groups as well as for emergency services.

The most common reasons for volunteering was to, firstly, help others and the community, to give something back to the community and to gain personal satisfaction.

Other benefits included creating friendships, increasing self-esteem and feeling a part of the community.

So over the next few weeks if you are not yet a volunteer, think about becoming one; it is not only you that will benefit but your friends, family and community.