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).
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.