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Blog:Volunteering: is it worth it? A volunteers perspective!

30/05/2019

A blog written by one of our volunteers about the benefits of volunteering! 

If volunteering is payment free, why take part? Is reward the only reason for engagement? And if so, must it be defined by monetary value? Volunteers week takes place next week between 1-7 June 2019, I thought it would be a good idea to share how volunteering has supported me.

Volunteering may be seen as any engagement that is primarily meant to benefit an environment an individual or group of people other than or in addition to close relatives. Though there is a lot of work and time spent in volunteering, there is no agreed payment that is attributed to volunteering work. Because of this, a significant number people perceive volunteering to be quite irrelevant. They feel like it’s waste of time and energy. In other word “disguised exploitation”. In my view, this perspective lacks necessary illumination and hence I consider it to be unschooled.

But what would an enlightened view of volunteering be like? As a person who has been working as a volunteer, I define volunteering as an intentional and deliberate involvement in an activity or project to earn fulfilment and contentment by achieving the desired change or improvement. The change is not just external, but also internal as well.  With this perception, we can see varieties of pretty good stuff. in addition to the external achievements, there are great accomplishments within the life of the volunteer. Though this may not be the primary focus, it is very much important to appreciate this. There is an opportunity for personal development, creation of meaningful relationship, realization of strength and an opportunity to contribute into other people’s life through serving them among many others.

I have been involved in many different ways as a volunteer, HealthWatch being among the top in list. This has really helped me in developing very important relationships which has served significantly to my personalities in terms of values and attitude. I have also learnt new skills like blog-writing, working with survey monkey, running focus groups and others. Though some of these activities were new to me in the beginning, the quality of the support given to me made me to like them and allowed me to contribute effectively. This has given me sense of fulfilment in seeing improvement being achieved through things I had my hands on. 

When and where should one volunteer? Should we only when we have time? This may sound pretty logic; volunteering to do something because we have some free time that hasn’t been attributed to some commitments. To some extent, this may not be perfectly true aspect of the question when. Alter realising the value of the involvement, you would find it worth to create more time for it either by trimming off some activities that are of lesser value or working for more hours than usual. In both aspects, there is an element of sacrifice which is dependent on realization of what volunteering would result in.

Where to direct our passion. This is done by carefully considering organisation, people and activities to connect and work alongside in order to bring the desired change and improvement. The people must be willing to work with you and receive your contribution. I am grateful for Healthwatch to have their shutters lifted in order to accommodate anyone willing to volunteer regardless of their capacity, affiliation or gender.  

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Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham
Lifeline House
25 Neville Road
Dagenham, Essex RM8 3QS

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