As we look towards a new year, it’s often a time for reflection, re-setting priorities and planning for the future. For many older Victorians, particularly those who are newly retired or semi-retired, getting involved in volunteering is an important part of our life plan.
Sharing your skills, time and energy with your community as a volunteer can be rewarding, exciting and fun. Volunteering is also a great way to stay active and build new connections and friendships.
Volunteering has been heavily impacted by COVID-19. While demand for community support has increased during the pandemic, volunteering participation has declined in many areas. As I reflected in my , many volunteering activities could not continue in-person and some changed to online models. Some older volunteers are uncertain about returning to their previous activities. As one person reflected, “once you slowed down, it was really hard to get started again.”This is now a great time, as we move towards the end of the year, to reflect and re-set our priorities. It is timely to reflect on what gives us meaning and purpose in life, to think about our ambitions and set new goals or dreams. For many, volunteering provides the perfect opportunity to pursue your passions, give back to the community and find fulfillment.
Starting your volunteering journey
There are so many ways you can get involved, locally or virtually, as a volunteer. Start by thinking about:
- What do you enjoy doing? What skills or interests would you like to share?
- How much time would you like to contribute – would you like to volunteer regularly or from time to time?
- Where would you like to volunteer – close to home, or would you like to volunteer online?
There are some fantastic websites to search for or browse volunteering opportunities. The , an initiative of Volunteering Australia, is a national database of volunteering opportunities that aims to match people with roles. The , an initiative of Volunteering Victoria, is designed to bring together volunteers and local community organisations to help communities recover from emergencies and natural disasters.
Read about volunteering experiences and opportunities
Reviewed 14 October 2022