Volunteering is an activity that involves willingly spending time to help benefit a person, people, environment or community.

What is volunteering?

We recognise that volunteers are a vital part of Victoria’s social, economic, cultural and environmental fabric and volunteering delivers immense value to Victoria, for communities, places and individuals. This includes an economic contribution worth around $23 billion to Victoria in 2011, and which is set to hit $42 billion by 2021 (DPCD 2012).

Benefits

Volunteering is a great way for people, regardless of their age, cultural background, location or circumstances, to get involved in the community and make a positive contribution.  In addition to the satisfaction of helping out for the benefit of others, there are many reasons people volunteer such as:

  • Connecting with others and improving social ties
  • Positively engaging  and being active within the community
  • Experiencing new challenges
  • Raising awareness and supporting important community issues
  • Interacting with different cultures
  • Contributing to social change
  • Developing professional networks
  • Finding a pathway to getting a job, course or training
  • Developing new skills or gaining experience in a variety of roles
  • Exploring different career and job opportunities.

Research has also found a significant connection between volunteering and good health, showing that volunteering can (Vic Health, 2012):

  • Alleviate depression
  • Increase satisfaction with life
  • Lower the frequency of hospitalisation
  • Boost a person’s ability to cope with illness.