Loneliness and Volunteering
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme this year is Loneliness.
Loneliness is a feeling we have all had and can affect us at any time in our lives. You can feel isolated when you are on your own or when you are surrounded by people.
Whilst it is normal to have lonely moments, when loneliness lasts for a long time it can have serious effects on your mental health.
Volunteering is one fantastic way to tackle loneliness.
Whether you love gardening, animals, sports or the environment, there are thousands of charities out there with volunteering opportunities in an area you are excited and passionate about!
Through volunteering, you can:
- Make new friends and build a community
- Boost your confidence and mood
- Explore a hobby or passion
- Make a difference in your local area
- Gain work experience
- Improve your social skills
Many Advance Customers and Colleagues enjoy volunteering regularly in their local area.
Read about what they have been up to and get inspired:
Salih in the Community Garden
Salih has learnt to make the most of what the community has to offer him. He volunteers at Culpeper Community Garden twice a week. It is a beautiful community space in Islington and volunteers can get involved digging up the flowerbeds, harvesting the vegetables and looking after the ponds.
Salih loves volunteering in the garden. His favourite thing about working in the garden is 'getting (his) hands dirty!' and his favourite flower is the daffodil, because he loves the way it smells.
Marc at Volunteer Centre Dorset
Marc really enjoys his role as a Volunteer Ambassador for the Volunteer Centre Dorset. Marc gets involved in recruiting other volunteers and providing information to visitors.
As someone who really enjoys meeting people and helping out the local community, Marc finds the role meaningful and satisfying. He regularly hands out posters and flyers in the local area to advertise the Volunteer Centre.
Bose and Jenny's Monday Nights
Since January, Bose and Volunteer Jenny have really enjoyed spending time together on Monday nights. Each Monday Bose chooses an activity for them to do together. Bose is very keen on trying new things to build her confidence, social skills and meet people.
On their trips, they have been to Chinatown, played many games of bowling, learnt table tennis and are due to go to the theatre to watch Jurassic Park at the end of May!
Would you like to volunteer near you?
- Do It Life is a database of volunteering opportunities
- NCVO has useful links for volunteering
- Think about what excites you and get googling e.g. if you love animals, google ‘volunteering at an animal shelter near me’
- Chat to a member of staff e.g. your support worker and mention you would like to start volunteering
If you are feeling lonely, it is okay and there are some great resources out there:
Every Mind Matters by the NHS has a dedicated loneliness site with useful links - here
Mind has a dedicated loneliness page - here