A new survey by Citizens Advice Bureau has revealed that six in ten people say volunteering reduces stress.
Volunteering boosts employability, self-esteem and health, according to a new report published to mark Volunteers’ Week.
The new report ‘CAB volunteering – how everyone benefits’ also reveals that six in ten people who give their time to the Citizens Advice service feel less stressed as a result.
In 2013, over 70 volunteers gave up their time in Calderdale CAB, helping 11,125 clients to solve 24,141 problems.
Alastair McGregor, Chief Executive of Calderdale CAB, said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of Calderdale CAB. They make a huge contribution to the local community, helping to support over 11,000 people each year when they need it the most. Now, these figures reveal the benefits that volunteers can expect to see themselves.”
The research also found volunteering can be particularly beneficial for people who suffer with mental health problems.
Three-quarters of individuals identified with mental health issues said that “volunteering helped them feel more able to manage their condition.”
Nationally, more than 22,000 volunteers gave up their time to help people in Citizens Advice Bureaux, resulting in more than £100million of volunteering hours.
The report also found:
Nine in ten people reported an increased sense of purpose or self-esteem
Four in five believe that they have increased their employability
Nine in ten feel more engaged in their community
Nine in ten feel better equipped and empowered to deal with issues in their lives- with four in five also helping friends and family.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of national charity Citizens Advice, said: “Volunteers deliver a high-quality service for millions of people, many of whom are having a tough time struggling to make ends meet. People are still recovering from the economic crisis and dealing with changes to the welfare system and local services. It’s now more important than ever that everyone can access free and impartial advice.
“It is those who give up their time for free who enable us to offer this and we need the Government to recognise the importance of volunteering and develop a strategy to support it.”
For more information about Calderdale CAB visit www.calderdalecab.org.uk or at one of their offices in Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Todmorden or Elland.