Volunteering can be Personal Development

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One of the ways in which Volunteer Link promotes its volunteering opportunities is as a form of personal development, and this month I have taken some time to look at what exactly we mean by this well used term. When I google the words ‘personal development’ Wikipedia comes up with the following:-

Personal development covers activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance the quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations.

Wow, personal development sounds pretty good. Wouldn’t we all want these things? Can volunteering with Volunteer Link really be described as personal development though? Let’s take a closer look.

Does befriending volunteering improve our awareness and identity? I think so. We are certainly going to have a lot more awareness of what the issues are for lonely and isolated people when we start to spend time with them. It can also improve our identity, because as we get to know another person we become more connected with our own identity.

Develop talents and potential –  volunteers are developing their talent of befriending all the time and thus expanding their potential.

Building human capital, our volunteers are certainly doing that as they voluntarily support and give to another, and facilitate employability – it is well documented that volunteering experience can be as relevant as work experience in the eyes of employers.

Finally, enhance the quality of life. It is known that giving to others is one of the things that gives us the greatest happiness and in giving to others through volunteering, volunteers have the satisfaction of knowing that they are helping others, hence enhancing the quality of their own lives at the same time.  

Finally, contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations, this might sound lofty and out of reach but our lives tend to be made up of many small actions and experiences that combine to make the whole. What kind of life do we ultimately want to lead? If it’s one where serving others has a place, then this can contribute to realizing our dreams and what we aspire to be.

I think it’s true to say, therefore, that volunteering can be a form of personal growth. So if you want some of the things that go with this – improvement of awareness and identity, to build human capital and improve your employability, enhance your quality of life, build talent and potential and realise your dreams and aspirations, hence a personal growth opportunity – please consider volunteer befriending with Volunteer Link.

Our next Volunteers Induction training courses will take place on Wednesday 16th January 2019. Email volunteering@volunteerlink.org.uk for more information.