Do Good. Feel Good. Volunteering at OSJCT
Blog by OSJCT Head of Volunteering, Catherine Semmence.
‘New Year, new you!’ This is a phrase we hear a lot at this time of year. Many of us begin the new year with a clear idea of what we’d like to start or do differently in the 12 months ahead. Whatever you’re considering for 2022, I’m asking that you put volunteering with OSJCT at the top of your list!
One positive outcome from the recent pandemic is that many of us are taking time to reflect on what’s important in our lives whilst focusing more on our own wellbeing and mental health and how we can maintain and improve it. One definition of wellbeing describes it as: “how people feel and how they function, both on a personal and a social level, and how they evaluate their lives as a whole.”
You may be wondering what this has to do with volunteering. Research has often found a positive link between volunteering and improved wellbeing. The Time Well Spent study, by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), tells us that there is a clear relationship between perceived wellbeing, mental health factors and volunteering. In fact, they found that 77% of volunteers surveyed agreed that their volunteering experience improved their mental health and wellbeing in some way.
Research is important and insightful, but we decided to put it to the test. Who better to tell us whether this is true than our very own volunteers? Everyone has different motivations for becoming a volunteer, but when asked why they continue, there was a common theme: They get as much from their volunteering experience as our residents do as the recipient of it.
“Volunteering has been a great experience for me…. it’s given me a routine each week.” (Clive)
“The pride I get from being part of a team is the best part about my volunteering.” (Norman)
“Volunteering at OSJCT feels educational, I’m learning so much and I am even considering a career in care.” (Beth)
Later this January we are launching our volunteer recruitment campaign to invite members of our local communities to join us as a volunteer and ‘Do Good to Feel Good’. As part of our campaign some of our fantastic volunteers will share their stories about what it’s like to be an OSJCT volunteer. You’ll hear first-hand about the impact volunteering has on them as individuals and why they encourage you to join us.
I know that when considering volunteering, care homes aren’t always at the forefront of people’s minds. My message to you is, leave any preconceptions you may have at the door. Our care homes are filled with laughter and fun and our volunteers are front and centre of this. I promise that you’ll meet some incredible people. You’ll definitely get some priceless advice from our residents. One of our volunteers Matt summed it up perfectly when he told me: “I’ve yet to meet a resident that hasn’t got a fascinating life story to tell”.
Whether you’re considering volunteering to learn new skills, to improve your social connections or just because you’d like to try something different, we have a role to suit you.
Let’s be honest, not all New Year’s resolutions last much beyond January. But if you’re truly looking for something rewarding to do this year which you’ll be enjoying well into December 2022, I encourage you to take action today. Find a volunteering opportunity near you and apply online. Or if you’d like to speak to someone to find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our Volunteering Team will arrange a call to tell you more.
 New Economics Foundation (2012) Measuring Wellbeing: A guide for practitioners, London: New Economics Foundation.