image008Eolas Soiléir is a registered Educational Charity supporting volunteering in Ireland and Europe. As part of our constitution and mission statement we promote volunteering to tackle global inequality and promote critical thinking. We also recognise that volunteering has many other benefits:

It’s good for you. Volunteering provides physical and mental rewards. It:

  • Reduces stress: Experts report that when you focus on someone other than yourself, it interrupts usual tension-producing patterns.
  • Makes you healthier: Moods and emotions, like optimism, joy, and control over one’s fate, strengthen the immune system.
  • Motivation and sense of achievement Fundamentally, volunteering is about giving your time, energy and skills freely. Volunteers predominantly express a sense of achievement and motivation, and this is ultimately generated from your desire and enthusiasm to help. It saves resources. Volunteering provides valuable community services so more money can be spent on local improvements.
  • The estimated value of a volunteer’s time is 11euro per hour.

Learn or develop a new skill  Volunteering is the perfect vehicle to discover something you are really good at and develop a new skill. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.” It brings people together. As a volunteer you assist in:

  • Uniting people from diverse backgrounds to work toward a common goal
  • Building camaraderie and teamwork

It promotes personal growth and self esteem. Understanding community needs helps foster empathy and self-efficacy. Volunteering strengthens your community. What better way is there to connect with your commmunity and give a little back? As a volunteer, you certainly return to society some of the benefits that society gives you. As a volunteer you help (for example)

  • Support families (daycare and eldercare)
  • Improve schools (tutoring, literacy)
  • Support youth (mentoring and after-school programs)
  • Beautify the community (beach and park cleanups)

You learn a lot. Volunteers learn things like these:

  • Self: Volunteers discover hidden talents that may change your view on your self worth.
  • Government: Through working with local non-profit agencies, volunteers learn about the functions and operation of our government.
  • Community: Volunteers gain knowledge of local resources available to solve community needs.

You get a chance to give back. People like to support community resources that they use themselves or that benefit people they care about. Volunteering encourages civic responsibility. Community service and volunteerism are an investment in our community and the people who live in it. Meeting a diverse range of people Volunteering brings together a diverse range of people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Both the recipients of your volunteer efforts and your co-workers can be a rich source of inspiration and an excellent way to develop your interpersonal skills. New interests and hobbies Sometimes we do get locked into the “rat-race” of life and volunteering can give that escape to everyday routine and create a balance in our lives. Finding new interests and hobbies through volunteering can be fun, relaxing and energizing. New experiences Volunteering is a brilliant way to get life experience. Whether you build a library or mail flyers to raise awareness for a local charity, you will experience the real world through hands-on work. Volunteers gain professional experience. You can test out a career. Boost your career options A survey carried out by TimeBank in the UK through Reed Executive showed that among 200 of the UK’s leading businesses

  • 73% of employers would recruit a candidate with volunteering experience over one without
  •  94% of employers believe that volunteering can add to skills
  •  94% of employees who volunteered to learn new skills had benefited either by getting their first job, improving their salary, or being promoted

Send a signal to your employer, teachers, friends and family… Volunteering reflects and supports a complete picture of you, and gives real examples of your commitment, dedication and interests. Show people what you are passionate about and maybe you will inspire them too! You make a difference. Every person counts!