ALIVE! Volunteering

Cindy Dring, Health Promotion Officer

On a personal level
Volunteering has a positive effect on six aspects of personal well-being: happiness, life satisfaction, self-esteem, sense of control over life, physical health, and depression.1    
            Greater life satisfaction and lower rates of depression
            Volunteer now to prevent problems in the future
            Volunteers live longer
            Volunteers have lower rates of heart disease
            Volunteers have less stress
            Volunteers have higher levels of oxytocin and dopamine
            Volunteering gives you the ‘helper’s high’ (endorphins)
            Volunteering enhances the immune system
            Volunteering makes you more interesting and adds to your identity
‘Soup for Life’ campaign raising vital funds for Gorta to fight hunger and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa

On a community level
Communities with high levels of volunteerism tend to have healthier residents, better academic test scores, and lower crime rates than those that don't. 2

More people had better health in communities with high levels of volunteerism.

More people in communities with strong volunteerism said they're "very satisfied” with their lives.

Communities with lots of volunteer activity had fewer burglaries.

Students in areas with high levels of volunteerism performed better academically.

Student volunteers deliver Information Communications Technology (ICT) training with ‘Click and Connect’ project
Volunteering is like being in a health club that is free to join! For more contact ALIVE.

1Thoits,  PA & Hewitt, LN (2001) J Health Soc Behav. Jun;42(2):115-31.

2 Whiteley, P. “Civic Renewal and Participation in Britain .” News release, Economic and Social Research Council.

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