According to the Mental Health Foundation, when we get involved in volunteering doing kind things for others, we can improve our emotional wellbeing, reduce our stress levels, and may even increase how long we live.
As part of National Volunteers' week (first week of June), JustServe has taken the opportunity to thank all volunteers for the wonderful work they have been doing. We asked people around the country to nominate people who have shown kindness to others in their local communities, so that we could celebrate these amazing people as JustServe Volunteering Heroes.
Many of our Heroes were surprised to have been nominated, one or two didn’t want any public acknowledgement. This didn't surprise us because the people who normally do most in our society are those who just get on with helping without needing to be recognised—they just love to help others.
JustServe would like to say a massive thanks to all those involved in volunteering, even if you haven't been nominated. The world is a better place when we are involved in doing good and helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves. As the pandemic lifts and normal life returns, let's look for volunteering opportunities to help those around us.
Some examples drawn from among the Heroes are photographed below, along with reasons why they volunteer; more stories can be found on Instagram and Facebook.
Jackie Taylor: 'Volunteering gives me a wonderful sense of achievement, knowing that I am helping others. Whether you have lots of time or just a little, there is always something out there you could help with. Kindness is contagious and volunteering can spread goodwill and community spirit.'
Theresa McPoland: 'I would encourage anyone who is just thinking about volunteering, to take that leap of faith and just do it. You won’t regret it and probably wish that you had done so sooner.”
Chris Hawkshaw: 'During a year that turned our lives upside down with medical issues, it has been great to shift this concern and focus on others and hopefully bring some joy. [I am] grateful for the challenge we receive from those who see more in us than we can see ourselves.'