What can you get out of volunteering? Can volunteering bring about a positive change? Is volunteering worth it? So many questions can be asked about whether volunteering is valuable. However, when it comes down to it, receiving the reward from being a volunteer, is not about what you can get from the activity, but what you can give to the organisation, institution or community.
Having said this however, once you become a regular volunteer in numerous places, you pick up a pattern- every volunteering organisation offers happiness, one way or another. The positivity of doing good offers a phenomenal, lasting vibe. Volunteering can become an integral part of a healthy lifestyle.
In truth, volunteering is priceless. Having the opportunity to be a part of something bigger, doing something or helping someone in a way that could potentially change a life, is a deed that cannot be measured on a physical scale.
Over the last academic year, I have completed over 30 confirmed hours of volunteering. As well as being a regular volunteer for the Lincoln Oxfam Bookstore and completing many tasks within my role as a course representative, among others, one of my favourite volunteering experiences was when I participated in the Lincoln River Clean as a River Hero.
The task was to clear litter from the riverbanks along the river in Lincoln. The reason why I consider this to be memorable, is the fact that it was an opportunity for me to be an active member of the Lincoln Community, whilst forming professional and positive relationships with fellow volunteers. The activity was led by Anglian Water and it allowed me to experience wildlife and nature in a healthy and productive manner. I learnt about plant and animal species in the ecosystem and saw a variety of wildlife, including several fish.
After picking up a series of random litter, including odd pieces of clothing, heaps of empty beverage containers and plastic bags, it occurred to me just how much human activity effects the ecosystem. The simple act of placing rubbish such as cans in the correct bin could save a swan from being trapped and cut, leading to death.
Discussing the main causes of drain blockages and the effects of illegal drains dumping dirty water in rivers with members of Anglian Water, enabled me to comprehend just how much time volunteers and organisations dedicate to keep the community clean and safe for all life.
If I did not volunteer to clean the river, these truths would never have crossed my mind and I would not have been able to appreciate the feeling of cleaning up an area where wildlife thrives. I would never have fully comprehended the positive impact that a few hours out of my day could have for the community I live in.
Overall, I would really recommend volunteering to be a regular activity to ensure that communities can remain clean and inviting, not just for humans and children, but also for the animals and wildlife we share our planet with. With the correct attitude, volunteering can be fun and enjoyable as well as rewarding!
This article was written by Saffah Danial