The unexpected benefits of volunteering

I visited the Olympics four times this Summer, and was struck by two things in particular.  One was the friendliness and camaraderie of the spectators. The other was the outstanding service and support provided by the volunteers.

Every volunteer I saw was clearly enjoying the experience, and added to the enjoyment and atmosphere of the event. It reminded me of the numerous times I have done voluntary work, and the benefits I and the other colleague volunteers received, for example:

  • The sheer pleasure of making a contribution
  • The enhanced confidence of being able to take a leadership role
  • The inter-personal and leadership skills learned
  • The fun and camaraderie

The unexpected benefits of volunteeringMany large businesses recognise the impact that volunteering can have on personal development, and run leadership programmes where attendees do some form of community-based work.

There are numerous ways to contribute as a volunteer.  If you are interested in finding out more, here is one website which has some information (, and I imagine that virtually every registered charity would welcome volunteers.