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Wellbeing benefits of volunteering

How volunteering helps with improving your wellbeing

Studies suggest that volunteering can lead to greater happiness and improved psychological wellbeing.[1] [2] Let’s explore the different ways volunteering can contribute to your overall wellbeing.


Combating loneliness

Social isolation and loneliness are a growing problem, and volunteering can be a lifeline for those who feel disconnected. By joining a volunteer group, you’ll have the opportunity to meet like-minded people, build friendships, and develop a sense of belonging. This social interaction can combat feelings of loneliness and isolation, boosting your mood and overall wellbeing.


Boosting confidence

Volunteering allows you to use your skills in a meaningful way. Whether mentoring young adults, volunteering on a helpline, or leading a community project, seeing the positive impact of your contributions can boost your confidence and self-esteem. This sense of accomplishment can spill over into other areas of your life, leading to a more positive self-image and increased motivation.


Finding purpose

Volunteering can help you discover a renewed sense of purpose. By connecting with a cause you care about, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your values and find meaning in your actions. This can be beneficial if you are feeling adrift or are transitioning in life, such as moving to a new place or retiring from work.


Learning new skills

Volunteering often involves stepping outside your comfort zone and trying new things. This can lead to the development of new skills and knowledge, which can be personally and professionally enriching.


Volunteering ideas in Victoria

The key to realising the wellbeing benefits of volunteering is finding something you enjoy that aligns with your interests and values. Whether it is working with animals, supporting mental health charities, or advocating for environmental causes, there are countless opportunities to contribute your time and talents. Explore different organisations and activities until you find something that resonates with you.

Check out these places and resources for volunteering opportunities in your area:

Volunteer Victoria – search for current volunteer roles by category.

Local council – search for your council’s website to look for volunteering opportunities at the council and in the community.

Lifeline – volunteer as a crisis supporter or in the community.

Foodbank Victoriavolunteer in the warehouse or at a school breakfast club.

Parks Victoriavolunteer in one of Victoria’s parks.

Country Fire Authorityvolunteer in operational or support roles.

Habitat for Humanity Victoriavolunteer to help build a home or assist with repairs and landscaping.


So, the next time you’re looking for ways to improve your wellbeing, consider volunteering. By finding the time to give back and help others, you might be surprised at how much it helps you, too. Even small acts of kindness can have a positive impact, both on yourself and the community.


If you are struggling with your mental health and wellbeing, our CAREinMIND counsellors are here to help 24/7. Call 1300 096 269 or click the floating chat button on the right. The service is free for people in north, western and central Melbourne.


The CAREinMIND blog is delivered by Lifeline. The views in each post do not necessarily reflect those of North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network.



[1] Kragt D, Holtrop D. Volunteering research in Australia: A narrative review. Aust J Psychol. 2019; 71: 342–360.

[2] Lawton, R.N., Gramatki, I., Watt, W. et al. Does Volunteering Make Us Happier, or Are Happier People More Likely to Volunteer? Addressing the Problem of Reverse Causality When Estimating the Wellbeing Impacts of Volunteering. J Happiness Stud 22, 599–624 (2021).