The Ripple Effect of Volunteering: How Giving Back Gives to You

Date: 19th Mar 2024 Author: Bianca Cole

Volunteering is often seen as a selfless act, a means of contributing to a community. While the primary focus is indeed on helping others, the act of volunteering offers a wealth of benefits to us as volunteers, creating a ripple effect that enhances our lives in various ways.

For those of us who volunteer as Essex Scouts, we often say when asked: we volunteer because we ‘like to give back’. Many of us have been through the movement and know the impact of what Scouting does for young people. As noble as this statement sounds, there is a lot more that we get from volunteering other than just giving back, lets explore this below.

The Happiness Effect

There’s a unique sense of fulfilment that comes from helping others especially when it comes to Scouting. This “happiness effect” can elevate mood and enhance overall happiness. In fact, the more we give, the happier we feel. Is that why so many of us have more than one role in Scouting? Volunteering can increase self-confidence, provide a natural sense of accomplishment, and can even lead to a so-called ‘helper’s high.’

Personal Growth and Development

Volunteering within Essex Scouts can provide an opportunity for personal growth. It allows us to step out of our comfort zones, tackle new challenges, and acquire new skills. Whether it’s learning how to organise events, developing leadership abilities, or gaining hands-on experience, the skills gained through volunteering with Essex Scouts are both personally enriching and professionally valuable.

Career Advancement

By volunteering, we can gain experience in a field of interest and meet people in Scouting who have similar interests. Networking is an incredible benefit of volunteering, and it can lead to job opportunities, recommendations, and lasting professional relationships. I know from personal experience, on two separate occasions my Scouting connections and skills have provided me with the means to find a job after two redundancies.

A Sense of Community

Volunteering can deepen our connection to others in Scouting and the wider community when we are seen living out our values. Lord Robert Baden-Powell the founder of Scouting himself is often quoted as saying try and leave this world a little better that you found it. Even doing something small can make a significant difference to the lives of people, animals, and organisations in need. That sense of contribution can give you a feeling of pride and identity.

Health and Well-being

Studies have shown that volunteering has a positive impact on mental and physical health. Engaging in volunteer work can reduce stress, combat depression, and provide a sense of purpose. The social aspect of volunteering can also contribute to our well-being, as it fosters connections with others and builds a support network of like-minded individuals.

The Bottom Line

The impact of volunteering is far-reaching, not just for those on the receiving end but also for us as volunteers themselves. It’s a two-way street where the act of giving provides a return in the form of personal satisfaction, growth, and connection. Know that your contributions will not only help others, but will also enrich your own life in countless ways that you may not have even considered.

Looking to the future

With the changes that are coming to simplifying how we volunteer in Essex Scouts, transformation is seeking to make volunteering easier and more fun. With that in mind, now might be a good time to take a look at how and why we all volunteer, exploring the options available to us as individuals and teams. Afterall a happy volunteer is an effective volunteer.

Volunteering opportunities within Essex Scouts advertised via our volunteering pages
Essex Scouts Transformation information is located under the Transformation pages

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls