By Debbie R – CBT therapist
It’s International Volunteer Day on 5 December. International Volunteer Day was designated by the United Nations in 1985 as an international observance day to celebrate the power and potential of volunteering.
The act of volunteering is found in all cultures, languages, and religions. Each year, hundreds of millions of people volunteer their time and skills to help make the world a better place. When they volunteer, they help to improve the lives of others. And when they volunteer, they also gain a greater sense of belonging to their communities.
On 5 December, people around the world will celebrate with rallies, parades, volunteer fairs, group clean ups, blood donations, conferences, exhibitions, fundraising, workshops and volunteer recognition events.
Earlier this year I encouraged a friend to get involved in something to help with his mental and physical health problems – he opted to volunteer for a Mental Health Charity and this is what he said:
Why did you volunteer?
“To put some structure in my life; give something back to somebody else.”
What’s the benefit to your mental health?
“Being around others helped has helped to put my problems into perspective. I really enjoy it, it has helped me to grow as a person and I discovered I wasn’t as socially inept as I’d thought”
If someone were considering volunteering, what would you say to them?
“I’d say to them, just go for it. You don’t know until you try.”
What could you do?
If you’re thinking about volunteering in Leeds or are just curious follow the link below: