Survey finds improvement in mental health after volunteering experience

By Aideen O'Flaherty

SOUTH Dublin County Volunteer Centre is highlighting the positive impact volunteering can have on mental health and wellbeing – ahead of this year's National Volunteering Week which will take place from May 15-21.

In a national survey of over 1500 volunteers, respondents reported an improvement in their mental health and self-esteem as a result of volunteering.

Tricia Nolan Volunteer Centre 04052017

The survey found that 55 per cent of volunteers noticed an improvement in their mental health and wellbeing following their volunteering experience, while 65 per cent experienced an increase in their self-esteem.

South Dublin County Volunteer Centre Manager, Tricia Nolan (above), said: “Volunteers do tremendous work all over Ireland giving their time for charities and their local communities.

"We often talk about the impact volunteers have on the people and organisations they volunteer with and now we want to shine a light on the impact it has on the volunteer themselves.”

South Dublin County Volunteer Centre offer volunteering opportunities with a number of local organisations, including Cheeverstown House, Foroige and Teenline.

The centre will be holding an outreach event at the Square Shopping Centre on May 19, to encourage people to experience the benefits of volunteering.

Ms Nolan explained: “Gaining new skills, making friends, building confidence and feeling part of the community are all part and parcel of being a volunteer.

"While a lot of people begin volunteering because they’d like to give something back, many volunteers find that they actually get more from the experience than they give.”

There are two South Dublin County Volunteer Centres, located on Tower Road in Clondalkin and Belgard Square North in Tallaght.

National Volunteering Week is coordinated nationally by Volunteer Ireland and locally through Ireland’s network of 21 local Volunteer Centres and six Volunteering Information Services which cover most counties.

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