National Volunteers Week - Day 1

Today is day 1 of National Volunteers week. Each day this week we would like to showcase and say thanks to  a different volunteer in the Region for their commitment and contribution to volunteering. 

Today we are hearing from our Regional President, Roger Downing. 

With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering can be enormous. Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for you, the volunteer. The right project can help you to find friends, connect with the community and your local club members and learn new skills.

While it’s true that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll experience, volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day. I have volunteered in various organisations for 50+ years and in the main have enjoyed every minute.

Benefits of volunteering in your swimming club:-

  • Volunteering connects you to others in the club and other clubs
  • Volunteering is good for your mind and body and connects you to the other parents and helpers in your club
  • Volunteering can help you give back to swimming when as a swimmer you have decided to retire from competition etc
  • Volunteering brings fun and enjoyment to your time spent with the club

Even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the members and the club, and volunteering is a two-way street: It can benefit you and your family as much as the cause you choose to help. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to an area. It strengthens your ties to the club and the community and broadens your support network, exposing you to people with common interests, neighbourhood resources, and fun and fulfilling activities.

Your children and family and friends watch everything you do. By giving back to the community, you’ll show them first-hand how volunteering makes a difference and how good it feels to help other people and enact change. It’s also a valuable way for you to get to know organizations in the community and find resources and activities for your children and family. Doing volunteer work you find meaningful and interesting can be a relaxing, energizing escape from your day-to-day routine of work, school, or family commitments. Volunteering also provides you with renewed creativity, motivation, and vision that can carry over into your personal and professional life.

Volunteering doesn’t have to take over your life to be beneficial. In fact, research shows that just two to three hours per week, or about 100 hours a year, can confer the most benefits—to both you and your family and club. The important thing is to volunteer only the amount of time that feels comfortable to you. Volunteering should feel like a fun and rewarding hobby, not another chore on your to-do list. Make sure you know what’s expected. You should be comfortable with the organization and understand the time commitment. Consider starting small so that you don’t over commit yourself at first. Give yourself some flexibility to change your focus if needed. Don’t be afraid to make a change. So take the next step; Ask your club volunteer co-ordinator.  How can I help and enjoy every minute!!!

Posted by Swim England South West on June 1st 2021

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