Spring into volunteering
People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons.
For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge. For many it’s about making new friends and for still others to gain new experiences. Regardless of the motivation, what unites volunteers is that they find it both challenging and rewarding.
But that’s not all. Volunteering can actually be good for your health!
Studies have found that when you stop thinking about your own problems and focus on someone other than yourself, your stress levels start to decrease, your immune system is strengthened and your overall sense of life satisfaction increases. This is because helping someone else interrupts tension-producing patterns and replaces it with a sense of purpose, positive emotions and high confidence levels.
Our community overflows with opportunities to volunteer. Your efforts could help develop a better community where we live and work.
Throughout Surrey there are thousands of ways to volunteer, from driving an older person to the shops or the doctors once a week, to helping out at one-off fundraising events or conservation projects. And it’s now easier than ever to find the right volunteering role for you – just sign up via the Surrey County Council website, and in return you’ll get help finding an opportunity that fits your interests, skills and the time you have available.
Whether you’re looking for unique experiences, the chance to meet new people, a change from your day job or skills to help you get into a chosen career, volunteering can open lots of doors. And no matter how much or little time you have to give, you’ll be making a valuable difference.
One way to get involved...
Head to surreycc.gov.uk/volunteer or call 03456 009 009 to register your interest.
Your details will be sent to your local volunteer centre, who will get in touch to arrange an informal chat in person or over the phone (volunteer centres are a kind of matchmaking service for people who want to volunteer, and local and national charities or organisations who need people to help them). By chatting through things like interests, skills and lifestyles, volunteer centre advisors can help find you the right volunteering role).
Once they’ve found out a bit more about you, your volunteer centre will match you with different volunteering options and put you in touch with the charity or organisation that you’ll be helping – and your volunteering adventure can begin.
...or how about a taster
Round the Borough Bike is on Sunday 14 May
We're currently looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help us run this this popular event on the day. There are a variety of roles depending on your availability and preference. These include helping set up in Horton Country Park, manning the registration desk, signposting participants to the correct registration area, stewarding the course and greeting the participants as they return. Each role is normally no longer than two hours in duration between 7.30am and 4pm and we aim to ensure the roles are carried out in pairs where possible.
If you are interested, please contact our Leisure Developments team via our normal contacts.
On your doorstep...
Age Concern Epsom & Ewell are currently seeking volunteers to help in a range of activities within this borough, details can be found on their website.
and making a difference...
Last month our countryside volunteers worked with the Orchard Project helping us to manage our traditional orchards in Horton Country Park Local Nature Reserve.
The Orchard Project worked with us back in the winter of 2012/13 to help restore the veteran apple and pear trees in Lambert and Longrove Orchards.
In February they ran a pruning workshop with our volunteers involve pruning the younger trees that were planted over the last few years. There will be many more such opportunities this year, if you are interested you can contact the countryside team to volunteer via the our normal contacts.
ps A big thank you to all the volunteers who took part in the Hogsmill open space litter pick last month. We were slightly overwhelmed by the sheer number of people who turned up and collected a huge amount of rubbish - thank you all!
Volunteers at the recent tree pruning in Horton County Park