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Staying connected with volunteer work

Retirement  |  29/07/2016  |   2 min read

Retirement is a chance to put your feet up and relax. While that may be wonderful for the first couple of weeks, months or even years, at some point you’ll probably find yourself getting restless.

Volunteer work is one way to find a sense of purpose in retirement. It’s a great way to meet new people and social circles, enables you to give back to the community, and helps keep you active.

We spoke to Ben Fulton-Gillon from Pro Bono, an organisation that helps connect volunteers with worthwhile causes about the benefits of community work.

What’s the best way to get involved in volunteer work? Should you approach an organisation such as Pro Bono, or simply find a local community group you like and contact them directly?  

There are endless opportunities. Many people have a narrow view of volunteering roles because their understanding of volunteering is based on the public roles that they encounter, such as people fundraising or giving directions.  However, the reality is that most professional skills are sought by organisations.

Approaching an organisation directly can be a great way to get involved, especially if you know they seek the skills you have to offer. However, if that’s not the case, volunteer positions are frequently advertised. Pro Bono Australia have a volunteer board that’s constantly updated. These positions are generally quite descriptive, but the roles are of course voluntary, so the expectations are relaxed and understanding. So don’t be shy, Apply!

What are the benefits of giving up your time to volunteer – why do you do it?

There’s an obvious reason that people know about, but probably underestimate. It really is so rewarding.

It’s really fascinating to see the attachment people form with an organisation they’ve personally invested time and effort in to. I liken the effect to knowing you love football but never having a team you support. Once you engage and help an organisation you’ll likely enjoy it to the point of following the progress and achievements of that organisation, much as you may choose to support and back a particular football team.

What about retirees, they seem like an obvious target group for volunteer work?

Retirees may have finished working their 9-5, but it doesn’t take long for them to start looking for new projects once they’ve taken some time off. It seems like a tragic loss of potential for this huge and growing pool of brilliant skills and knowledge to sit dormant when there are more opportunities than ever before to employ this wisdom in a holistic manner.

To find out more about Pro Bono and available volunteer roles please visit www.probonoaustralia.com.au/volunteer

 

You can find other volunteer opportunities at these websites

https://govolunteer.com.au/Opportunity/Focus/10/seniors

https://www.volunteer.com.au/about-volunteering/

 

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