19 January, 2022
The Youth Adventure Trust volunteers choose to help for many different reasons and, we hope, benefit in many different ways. From supporting a cause that’s important to them to learning new skills, from making new friends to improving their employment prospects, we know it’s not just our young people who benefit from the positive activities we provide. However, here are three surprising benefits of volunteering we hadn’t considered…
In 2021 Professor Mogilner concluded that spending time helping others left people feeling as if they had more time, not less. The results of 3 separate experiments all demonstrated that giving your time to help others can leave you feeling more time affluent and less time-constrained than wasting your time, spending it on yourself, or even getting a windfall of free time. Moligner suggested that giving even a small amount of time to help someone else should make you feel you can do more in the time you have, leaving volunteers feeling more effective, which in turn improved their productivity.
This concurs with other research showing that people who donate money to charity feel wealthier.
As Mark Horoszowski, founder and CEO of MovingWorlds.org, writes there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that beyond being good for the soul, volunteering can increase happiness and lower stress. He argues a strong relationship between volunteering and health, where those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability and lower rates of depression later in life. Horoszowski claims that volunteering made people feel physically healthier, helped them manage chronic illness, improved their sense of well-being, lowered stress levels and enriched their sense of purpose in life.
More than three-quarters of volunteers also reported that they felt better about their employer because of their own involvement in volunteer activities.
In research published in 2004 Stephan Meier and Alois Stutzer concluded that helping others increased people’s individual well-being. The results of their study support the notion that volunteering positively influences happiness and that the more people volunteered, the happier they became. They showed that volunteering builds empathy, strengthens social bonds and makes people smile.
At the Youth Adventure Trust we believe the proof is in the pudding! Here’s some feedback from Volunteers who helped out in 2021…
“Last week was amazing, thanks for having me along. I can’t tell you how much the change and seeing everyone cheered me up.”
“I take away such a sense of purpose from days like that.”
“I had loads of fun and honestly think it’s been a bit of a life affirming experience for me.”
“I can really say this was one of the best experiences of my life and I truly feel this is a cause I support again.”
“Thank you for giving me the best experience of my life, I have never been so happy to do something, ever. I hope I can be of use in the future.”
“It puts things into perspective, I think. I also learned quite a lot about myself.”
“The principles that a young person is not just their behaviour and the idea of starting each day afresh have stayed with me and are invaluable both on YAT camps and in my broader life. I hope I am a more positive person as a result.”
Volunteers are essential to the Youth Adventure Trust and we are always looking for new and enthusiastic people to get involved. People come from a range of backgrounds, ages and experience, but all bring a unique set of skills to help support our work. We have a variety of different roles available, including: on our activity days and residential camps to help the young people get the most out of the opportunity; supporting a young person through mentoring; getting out into the mountains to make sure our fundraising challenge events run smoothly; or volunteering your skills and expertise to help the day to day running of the charity.
Volunteers ensure we fulfil our aim to inspire young lives and make a lasting difference to the vulnerable young people we work with.
If you would like to find out more about the volunteering opportunities available at the Youth Adventure Trust, please visit our website www.youthadventuretrust.org.uk/volunteer or email Volunteers Manager, Jon Rich, on [email protected]
Outside & Active is the home for those who love the outdoors. Our mission is to inspire, inform and educate people about being active outdoors in a fun, safe and sustainable way. We provide inspiration, kit, tech and advice on adventure, camping, climbing, cycling, hiking, running water and winter.