Volunteering to support Mental Health
In 2012 Great Britain hosted the summer Olympics and Paralympic games. This was a celebration of sports men and women from country through their chosen discipline, and their achievement of representing their country.
Volunteering was at the heart of the games and was what made the games great. People from around the UK applied to volunteer to be ‘Game Makers’ for a range of activities including being part of the opening ceremony, as seen on the ‘BBC’s One night in 2012 An imagine special’ , venue assistants and to medical support.
What I noticed about the volunteers was that their positivity shone through. During the BBC’s imagine special even when they were rehearsing outside in the pouring rain, in the middle of February, their team spirit did not appear to damper.
I myself have found opportunities to volunteer (not on the scale of the Olympics) but in local projects and sports clubs. Looking back at what I found most valuable from these experiences was the meeting new friends, team moral and achievement of supporting another person or organisation.
Other benefits of volunteering:
- Helping others can have a positive effect to the reduce stress, anger and anxiety.
- Combat depression
- Increase self confidence
- Sense of purpose
- Improve health and fitness
- Makes you happy
This year I took part in the Tea and Tent Women’s Institute annual camping weekend at Walesby Forest in Nottinghamshire. The entire weekend is arranged and hosted by volunteers. What was fantastic about this weekend was that people offered 1 hour of their time to either hold a workshop, speak at speakers corner, to pouring the champagne and manning the tea earns. Some ladies simply litter picked to help keep the campsite in tip top order for all to enjoy. This year The Bingham Belles organised the campsite raffle and raised over £1300 to support RICE (Research Institute for the Care of older people), Denman College and Rape Crisis.
Being part of an activity or supporting an organisation provides a sense of belonging and purpose. Volunteering can be a one day event, supporting your local charity shop or sports club or supporting a neighbour in need of company. Using your own time to be a part of something can enable a sense of unity and joy by being with friends or making new ones.
This year The Learning Support Centre team have joined forces to support Cancer research and Macmillan, Sports Relief, and the NUS Green Impact award and have donated time to training for the 5k run and swim, working together to support local environmental causes and independent business.
If you would like to learn about The Learning Support Centre and how we can support your charity, business or organisation please contact us.