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Volunteering "makes you happier"

National Volunteering Week takes place from 14 – 20 May, and it is hoped that more than 10,000 people will take part.

Image: anemoneprojectors via Flickr/Creative Commons

DOES VOLUNTEERING MAKE you happier? That’s what people said in a survey carried out for National Volunteering Week.

National Volunteering Week takes place from 14 – 20 May and people are encouraged to take part. Last year, more than 10,000 volunteers participated in hundreds of charity and community projects across Ireland.

This is the sixth national event and this year it will be seven days long, which makes it easier for people to get involved.

The National Volunteering Network carried out research in advance of the event and said that of more than 500 active volunteers who responded, 98 per cent said that ‘volunteering makes them a happier person’.

The research also found that the most common reasons for people to volunteer were to:

  • Help people (65 per cent)
  • Contribute to the community (60 per cent)
  • Add experience to CV (37 per cent)
  • Keep active (33 per cent)
  • Occupy spare time (30 per cent)
  • Develop contacts (24 per cent)
  • Find work through volunteering (24 per cent)

The flagship project for the week this year is a national inland waterways clean-up.

Volunteer Ireland CEO Dr Yvonne McKenna said that the survey reflected the growing participation in volunteering in Ireland. She said it showed that older people were most likely to volunteer in order to stay active and socially engaged, while the emphasis for younger people was on improving employment prospects in the current recessionary climate.

To find out more about volunteering during the week, visit www.volunteer.ie.

Read: Volunteer depression service rolls out education programme>

Read: How a volunteer scheme is finding housing solutions for Ireland>

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