Whether you’re well into retirement, or just getting used to not being at work full-time, you may find that more of your days and weeks are now your own. So what would you like to do with them? Volunteering is a great way to socialise, ‘give back’ something to society, and make the most of your free time.
Taking time to give back
Many of us move into retirement with decades of experience under our belts. Retirement could be a great opportunity for you to share the knowledge you’ve accumulated.
Age UK tell us that around 40% of retirees are involved in charitable work of some kind. Many of the nation’s charity shops depend on an army of volunteers – some with retail experience, others with an eye for numbers or design to help things run well – but volunteering doesn’t stop there.
It can be a fulfilling way to use your time and, for many, it’s an excellent way to keep some structure in your life after leaving the workplace and meet new friends too.
Getting involved is easy
If you’d like to get involved, or ‘give something back’ to your local community, it may feel a bit daunting – but it doesn’t need to be.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Do you already know a local interest group that’s looking for a leader or participants?
- Have you spent time in a group already, perhaps in a church group or a club?
- Could you offer to help out by reading to youngsters in the local school?
- Is there a town or village website, where ‘help needed’ may just be the thing?
- Would a national organisation appeal to you?
- Can you travel - would you be willing to help out further afield?
- Speak to the organisation in person to get a feel for what you're agreeing to.
- Make sure you're comfortable with the hours - some are adhoc, some will be regular.
- Don't over commit to start with - it's supposed to be enjoyable!
- For more information, we recommend going online to ncvo, or volunteer scotland, where you’ll find information about volunteer opportunities in your area.