Why become a volunteer?

How could volunteering change your life?

Have you ever wondered about becoming a volunteer and what the benefits might be?

At The Auckland Project, we work with over 250 volunteers across the organisation, who carry out roles from archiving to retail to working within our gardens and parks as well as our Facilities Team. Our volunteers also act as tour leaders, they work on transcribing oral histories and offer support to the engagement team with community talks and education work.

Some of our volunteers also work alongside the Visitor Services Experience Team in the Mining Art Gallery and we are currently inducting Experience Team volunteers for the new Auckland Tower.

Why volunteer?

Why not! Individuals get different things out of volunteering, but it certainly can be amazing, giving you new skills, new challenges and new friends.

The benefits are endless, from feeling part of something, gaining a sense of worth, giving something back, keeping your skills fresh to learning new skills, knowing that you add value and make a difference.

What makes a good volunteer?

Someone who is passionate about their locality, passionate about the project or organisation they want to volunteer for and willing to give things a go.

It helps if volunteers can commit their gift of time to a role and are keen to learn new skills, as well as being part of a team.

What are some common myths about volunteering?

Myth: You can only volunteer for sixteen hours a week if you receive state benefits.

Your volunteering hours are not limited, as long as you continue to meet the conditions of your benefit(s).

Myth: Don’t you have to be retired to volunteer?

No way! Volunteers can be all ages. If you can gift your time, whether you’re retired, a student, unemployed or working.

Myth: Volunteering is time-consuming

One of the main advantages of volunteering is the ability to decide for yourself how much time you can dedicate.

Volunteering will definitely not consume all of your time, unless you choose to.

Myth: There is no benefit to becoming a volunteer because it gives me no income

Volunteers get no reward is not true. The greatest reward of all is the knowledge, experience, emotional and mental satisfaction. Delivering support, doing a good deed and receiving a smile in return is the greatest joy that can be experienced.

About the author: Michele Armstrong is Head of Volunteering at The Auckland Project. She has been working with volunteers for almost 20 years. Michele has always been passionate about Arts and Culture and the impact it can have on people. Michele also volunteers as a director of Jack Drum Arts, as well as being a trustee for the Co Durham Community Foundation and she is a volunteer compere of events for Groundwork North East and Cumbria.

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