National Volunteer Week (NVW) is Australia’s annual celebration, acknowledging the generous contribution of volunteers across our nation. Taking place this year from 9th – 15th May, it’s a great opportunity to reflect on why we volunteer, and what can be achieved through the dedication and commitment of volunteers willing to turn their hands to conservation.
Latest Volunteering Research
The recently-released State of Volunteering in Australia report tells us that volunteering is a core part of our community, with 93% of volunteers seeing positive changes as a result of volunteering. That figure relates to all types of volunteering; it’s reasonable to assume that it’s even higher for Conservation Volunteers Australia, with our teams seeing the immediate results of planting trees or removing weeds. We can always see what a difference we’ve made! In other positive news from the report, 99% of volunteers plan to continue their engagement in the future – once a volunteer, always a volunteer. Your time commitments and the causes you choose, may change over time, but there is strong evidence that a personal commitment to volunteering is a lifelong one.
However it’s not all blue skies. The report also found that 86% of volunteer-involving organisations need more volunteers. Conservation Volunteers Australia is no different. While we have lots of committed volunteers, we have plenty more opportunities available. We always need more individuals to support our conservation projects.
The theme of National Volunteer Week is set by Volunteering Australia. In 2016, the continuing theme is Give Happy, Live Happy, celebrating the research that shows that volunteers lead happier and healthier lives. It’s a good motivation to join in, and be part of conservation volunteering for both your own benefit, and a greener, healthier environment.
Benefits of Volunteering
So if you give your time to volunteering, what should you expect? According to Volunteering Australia’s research:
- Volunteers are happier, healthier and sleep better than those who don’t volunteer – doctors should recommend it
- 96% of volunteers say that it “makes people happier”
- 95% of volunteers say that volunteering is related to feelings of wellbeing
- Volunteering results in a “helper’s high,” a powerful physical and emotional feeling experienced when directly helping others
- Just a few hours of volunteer work makes a difference in happiness and mood
- Sustained volunteering is associated with better mental health
- Altruistic emotions and behaviours are associated with greater well-being, health, and longevity
- A strong correlation exists between the well-being, happiness, health, and longevity of people who are emotionally kind and compassionate in their charitable helping activities
- The experience of helping others provides meaning, a sense of self-worth, a social role and health enhancement
- Volunteering is highly associated with greater health and happiness.
What more motivation do you need? We can add further benefits to the list above – the knowledge that joining a Conservation Volunteers Australia activity, means being part of the positive impact Conservation Volunteers Australia volunteers have every year in protecting, preserving and restoring our environment, now and for the future.
So if you’d like to Give Happy, Live Happy, find a project and join us! Search and book a conservation volunteer opportunity today, or freecall 1800 032 501. We’d love your help!