The Benefits and Impact of Volunteering

Can you remember a time when a volunteer made a difference, whether it was by helping you to enjoy your day, or by giving significant chunks of time to support your wellbeing in some way? Perhaps someone informally mentored you in their own time, or helped you carry your bags when you were struggling. I think we can all think of a time when a volunteer has brightened our world at least a little bit.

Benefits in Both Directions 

Time is a very precious resource that many of us don’t feel we have enough of. Yet volunteers give their time freely to accomplish remarkable things in their local community. It’s a precious gift, and a meaningful one. These wonderful people spread joy because they want to, not because they’re being paid to. How impactful that is!

We’ve all been told the benefits of volunteering, both for communities and for ourselves and our wellbeing. As well as making a difference to people’s lives, giving is one of the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’, and volunteering is a source of connection, laughter, and a sense of purpose. It also helps people to develop skills and confidence and gain valuable experience.

It’s important to remember though that each volunteer has their own motivations for volunteering which are as unique to them as are the benefits they will gain from the experience. It’s by getting to know volunteers and what matters to them that we can best ensure that what they do is valuable to them as well as to the people they are benefiting. And this is important. Volunteers really matter. Where would we be without them, after all?

Volunteering with SWWMind

At South Warwickshire & Worcestershire Mind, we have a growing family of volunteers who are directly supporting people in the community to improve their wellbeing. They extend their valuable time, skills, and compassion to make a real difference to the wellbeing of children and adults with a wide variety of needs, putting each individual at the centre of their own recovery.

Our GAMME (Groups, Active Monitoring and Mentoring) volunteers are going out into the community and offering tailored support to children and young people who are struggling with their mental health, whether through tailored 1:1 mentoring or themed group sessions. They’re helping to equip people aged 5 – 18 with coping and relationship skills and self-support mechanisms to support them through life. 

Our adult groups volunteers are supporting with the running of wellbeing and drop-in sessions, and they’ve made very positive contributions to support the recovery of the people using the services. 

Our training Volunteer is advocating for our cause week in, week out, by increasing awareness of mental health challenges and upskilling people in mental health support – all with a compassionate approach which people respond very well to. 

Our award-winning Green Minds volunteers are providing mindful access to nature and gentle exercise in a peer support environment. 

Our Trustees play a crucial role in ensuring the organisation operates effectively and fulfills its mission. They provide strategic oversight, making key decisions about the charity’s direction, priorities, and financial management. They bring diverse skills and perspectives to guide and improve the charity’s impact.

Event volunteers bring dedication to every initiative. They assist with planning and executing events, ensuring everything runs smoothly, from logistics to participant engagement. Their efforts help raise awareness, funds, and support for SWWMind, creating impactful experiences that educate and unite the community.

Our volunteers empower people to make changes which will lead to enhanced wellbeing and equip them with coping mechanisms to weather future challenges. And we’re so grateful to each and every one of them. Without their input, we simply wouldn’t be able to reach as many people as we do to offer vital mental health support.

What Our Volunteers Have to Say

Here is what volunteering means to some of our wonderful volunteers, in their own words:

“By giving back to a Local Mind, I not only support others on their journey to recovery, but I am also investing in my own mental wellbeing, creating a win-win situation for everyone involved.” – Paol

“I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to work with a variety of people, of widely differing needs, in a beautiful open-air setting. It is gratifying when attendees say that the experience of Green Minds has enhanced their well-being. It has certainly enhanced my own well-being! Through a bereavement and through Covid, working in our garden in good company has been an enormous source of consolation and pleasure.” – Trevor

“What do I get out of volunteering for SWWMind? At its most mundane it fills a block of time in my diary which is different to the norm. At its best you realise, through feedback or useful introspection, that you are making a positive difference in an individual’s or group’s lives.” – Keith

“I really enjoy volunteering for SWWMind, the opportunity to support young people with their mental health is such a meaningful contribution to my community. I really feel that this role gives me a chance to improve the lives of children and give them a kind ear, a supporting voice and the motivation to take positive action toward improving their struggles. The training SWWMind provide for volunteers is excellent and the staff are very caring and supportive.” – Mercede

Though there is variety in these responses, there is also a common thread – the desire to make a difference. It’s not something you can teach or instil. That’s what makes volunteers so very special. They’re being the good that they want to see in the world, and they’re giving up their most priceless resource to do so.

Thank You 

We’re so grateful to each and every one of the remarkable people that have donated their time to support people’s wellbeing. We’re extremely proud of our growing volunteer family, and hope that it will go from strength to strength as we seek to involve volunteers more and more in what we do.

To learn more about volunteering for SWWMind, and how you can get involved, please visit our Volunteering page.