Guest columnist: Volunteering is a resolution we can all keep

Heather Arnatt
Heather Arnatt

When the Christmas cheer is over lots of people decide to make changes to their lives;

Whether it’s to spend less and save more, become healthier, fitter or to make a fresh start with a new career, often the new year is the kick start we need to take that leap and make the change.

But how long do these resolutions really last?

We all know someone who signed up for a 12-month gym membership in January, only to cancel it by Valentines’ Day.

Maybe what we need is a more achievable, and possibly a more rewarding,resolution that could be the first step in making that change.

Many people find that helping out in the community leads to changes in their own lives – such as a career change, new friends or an improved sense of well-being.

So this year, why not decide to volunteer for other people who would really benefit from your time.

There are many opportunities to help out, depending on your interests.

There are lots of roles that depend more on personal qualities such as a caring nature, good listening skills or practical experience rather than specific qualifications or experience.

Many roles are flexible too and can fit around commitments such as work, family or studies.

For example, befriending roles need caring people with an hour or so a week to spare, while mentoring roles need people with experience who can care for and share understanding with others.

And shop roles look for friendly people who can give good customer service.

Although volunteering for a local charity or community group isn’t paid, there are other ways you could benefit.

Volunteering can unlock your potential and help you to access qualities and skills you didn’t even realise you had – boosting confidence, motivation and even improving your CV.

Research says that doing good actually does you good, boosting both mental and physical health, contributing to a more positive community – an all round win!

Why not take the first step and visit your local volunteer centre to see if there’s a role for you?

You never know, you might just be surprised what is on offer.

Pop in to the Guildhall at Marshall’s Yard in Gainsborough any time between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Alternatively, call 01427 613470 or visit www.voluntarycentreservices.org.uk