Whether you have retired or are looking for a route into new work, volunteering is a great option for older workers in the UK.
Why is volunteering beneficial for older workers?
A number of charities and public organisations embrace volunteering from older workers. These organisations can still see the wealth of benefits to involving older workers in their projects.
If you are an older worker that is out of work, it can make a world of difference to be part of a project that is socially positive and will remind you of the impact you can have on others. Here is a short list of reasons that tens of thousands of older people take up volunteering across the UK every year:
1. Help to find new work
If you are out of work but have not yet retired, volunteering could be the right step for you. The UK economy is changing faster than ever, so there might be some skills you can pick up quickly and easily from a volunteering role that will massively increase your chances of accessing a new job.
Some of these include using a till or register, including handling money, which would open up a wealth of opportunities in the retail sector. Furthermore, many take on assisting in organising community projects or events, which has opened up hundreds of management opportunities.
2. Make connections
Whether you have retired or not, volunteering will help get you in touch with like minded individuals in your community. Over the years, the sense of community across the UK has diminished. However, it’s still out there, it just needs to be found.
Tens of thousands of older people choose to take up volunteering roles for just that reason; you can meet a whole host of new people and start a new community unlike you ever thought possible.
3. Give back to your community
Volunteering is often offered by charities in your local community who cannot afford to hire a lot of people to carry out the tasks the target group needs. This is a great option for you to give back to your community as it doesn’t require you to have excess income to give away, only spare time.
VolunteeringMatters is a leading organisation for organising volunteer work across the UK. Within this, they currently have over 10,000 volunteers over the age of 50 helping in a wide range of capacities.
AgeUK helps a host of older people across the UK and offers volunteering to anyone who wants to do the same. Oftentimes, volunteer roles include meeting and talking to other older people, either by the phone or in person.
Examples of volunteer roles
- Organiser: Often, organisations need an experienced head to know how to get a project off the ground, particularly in organising other volunteers.
- IT Support: Getting to know new technology, computers and the internet is difficult. Having someone who is of a similar generation explain it in their terms makes the world of difference.
- Befriender: Especially in today’s world, people can easily become isolated. A volunteer befriender will take part in a range of activities to help people feel less alone. This is often done over the phone or in person but can sometimes include fun activities such as sport.
Mentor: There are a whole host of people in the UK who have seemingly been left behind. Having someone who has seen a lot of life and change can provide the right perspective to those who need an extra helping hand.