For many people, retirement represents a time to pursue rewarding and fulfilling activities that work or family commitments may have previously made difficult.
Volunteering is a satisfying and worthwhile activity that benefits both the cause you are volunteering for and your own wellbeing. The Chief Executive Officer of Volunteering Australia, Brett Williamson OAM, notes “Research tells us that volunteering makes a difference in people’s happiness. It’s proven that volunteers are happier, healthier and even sleep better than those who don’t volunteer.”
We see our fair share of wonderful volunteers within RetireAustralia’s 28 villages and have found that the most fulfilling activities align with their current hobbies or passions. For example, one of our Newling Gardens residents, Des Bowlay has recently being awarded the Duine Uasal (Gaelic for ‘honoured person’) by the Celtic Council of Australia for over 20 years of volunteer work with the Celtic Festival in nearby Glen Innes. Des says he’s proud to have contributed to the festival and encourage more people to connect with their Celtic roots.
It goes to show, there’s something out there to suit everyone!
Our cute and cuddly animal companions play big roles in our lives so it’s no surprise that they hold a special place in our hearts.
The RSPCA is dedicated to improving the welfare of animals and protecting them from neglect and cruelty. The RSPCA has many different animal centres around the country and there are numerous positions that need filling such as animal ambulance drivers, foster carers, retail attendants and ambassadors. On top of this, if you’re not able to make your way to a volunteering shelter, donations are always welcome.
If you are looking for something close to home, there are many opportunities to volunteer within your local town or suburb.
Do something near you allows you to refine your volunteer search to your postcode and choose the cause that you want to be involved in. It’s a one-stop-shop for information about community volunteering and charity events in your very own back yard.
Environmental conservation has become a real point of debate within the last few years and is a topic that many people are truly passionate about.
Conservation Volunteers Australia aims to connect people with nature and inspire change. You can participate in any of their conservation projects or support their cause through fundraising, donations or buying Conservation Australia merchandise.
It’s a great cause that will surely take you back to your roots.
Volunteer from your own home
For those who are interested in helping out from the comfort of their own home, ‘microvolunteering’ might be the perfect solution for you.
Help from home gives you the freedom to participate in whatever you want, whenever you want and for however long you want. This includes signing pledges for issues that mean the most to you, sharing something on Facebook, or filling in surveys for those conducting research. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to network with like-minded people online.
There are many more volunteering groups all around Australia, and the people involved come from all walks of life. You can put in as little or as much time as you wish, but know that you are making a difference no matter what.