“I’ve made friends and gained confidence working in a team.”
- Steel Valley Project Volunteer -

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and whilst the 2019 theme is body image, it’s still a great opportunity to talk about health and wellness in general.

There have been lots of studies over the years about how volunteering (particularly in the outdoors) can help mental health and wellbeing. This article from the Mental Health Foundation gives some great information.

We’ve been offering volunteering opportunities in the Stocksbridge community now for over 30 years, so we have lots of feedback from people who have told us how working as one of our volunteers has benefitted them:

It connects you to other people

Volunteering with us will give you opportunities to meet new people, make new friends, reduce social isolation and strengthen your ties to the local community.

When you work on our projects, you’ll be working with a team of people who are interested in countryside management and together you’ll be helping to make the community you live in a better place for people and wildlife.

It can help your career

If you’re looking to develop a career in countryside management and conservation, you’ll get practical experience which can help you when applying for jobs. We also offer formal training from time to time in the use of power tools (eg. chainsaws, strimmers and brush cutters) and first aid at work.

On top of that, you’ll get to build your skills in team working, communication and problem solving.

It’s good for both the mind and the body

Volunteering with us can help to combat depression as it gives you contact with others, a support system and time outdoors. You can also benefit from the feel good factor of giving to others, having a sense of purpose (great if you’re retired or have recently lost a spouse) and increased self confidence.

Working outdoors on countryside management projects can also help you to stay physically healthy.

Volunteering with us can increase:

– Well being
– Fitness
– Energy
– Self esteem
– Sense of belonging

Volunteering with us can decrease:

– Anxiety
– Loneliness
– Isolation
– Stress
– Negative feelings

It will be fun

If you’re interested in the countryside and conservation work, then it stands to reason that you’ll have fun while volunteering with us. Your normal day to day may be completely different (eg. office work) so getting outdoors with us could also give you renewed creativity and motivation.

Here’s what some of our volunteers have to say:

“I’m developing practical skills and learning new ones from a team leader passionate about their specialism.”

“Joining SVP has given me the opportunity to socialise with fellow volunteers, learn new skills and gain qualifications.”

“It’s great fun and I’ve learned so many practical skills.”

Learn more about volunteering with us:

If you’re interested in joining our volunteer team, we’d love to hear from you.

Click on the link below to learn more and to download an overview of the role.

https://steelvalleyproject.org/volunteering/

Volunteering is good for your health

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