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Virginie Ghaznavi on the obvious and not-so-obvious benefits of volunteering

  • Tuesday, May 31, 2022
  • Posted By The Growth Company

Volunteering your time and skills to aid a specific cause that is particularly close to your heart can be incredibly rewarding. It goes without saying that often you come away feeling just as, if not more, empowered by the experience as the cause or organisation that you have volunteered for.

At GC, this Volunteer’s Week we’ve been discussing our experiences of volunteering and wanted to share with you what we’ve realised are benefits that go far beyond simply helping a cause.

Giving something back

A huge amount of people in the UK have benefitted from voluntary services at some point in their lives. In 2014, the ONS found the value of volunteering by people across the country to be over £23 billion.  Even if you cannot think of a direct impact right now, it’s probable that you, or someone you know, have been supported by a charitable organisation or project.

The organisation you work for can play a big part in giving back to the community or other organisations. We feel fortunate at GC that we have the opportunity of taking two fully paid volunteering days per year, giving all colleagues the opportunity to give something back to the causes that have touched their lives in some way.

Gaining and sharing knowledge

While most people volunteer for organisations and causes, they already have an interest in, there is always a huge amount of knowledge that can be gained from exploring other opportunities.

In return, you can pass on your expertise and skills which, in turn, will have a positive lasting impact on others’ lives.

Enhancing skills

Through training and hands-on experience, you will learn new skills and develop the ones you already have. If you are raising awareness of something that matters to you or are passionate about, you’ll quite often gain these without actually noticing.

An indirect benefit of volunteering is often the acquisition of skills which can help to enhance your CV.  Just to give you a few examples of workplace skills that can be developed through volunteering:  mentoring; coaching skills; leadership skills; team working; communication with varied audiences.


Volunteering allows people to find their feet in their own time and at a pace that suits them, letting confidence build in a way that works for them.

There’s no right or wrong approach to volunteering, it’s about exploring the opportunities on offer and finding what’s right for you. What matters is that people enjoy it on their own terms and in a way which is most fulfilling to them.

Meet new people

Following our Mental Health Awareness Week campaign, where the focus was on combatting loneliness, volunteering is an easy way to meet new people. You’ll often meet and interact with people from diverse backgrounds, allowing you to learn other perspectives while sharing a common interest.


While this perhaps seems a trivial benefit to discuss, it is also probably the most important. It is no secret that contributing to projects communities, causes and organisations that matter to you will inevitably make you feel good.

Volunteering will provide you with tools that may help reduce the effects of stress, anger or anxiety in your life. Developing relationships with people, being active and contributing to a cause are all reasons we have found to help improve our mental health.

Get out there!

Here are just a few examples of what volunteering roles can look like:

·       Community work- working with the elderly, children or those who have a disability

·       Charities- giving time to work towards a specific cause or issue

·       Offering skills and expertise in roles- such as being a school governor, press officer for a charity or a marketing manager for an organisation

I hope us looking over the positive impacts of volunteering, may inspire you to go out and turn your hand to something new. To volunteer is an incredibly rewarding act and something that we at GC encourage as much as possible!