Volunteering from a Volunteers point of view.

We all have at some point felt that warm feeling when you have been able to help someone or given them something freely.
There are a host of organisations crying out for volunteers. In my opinion when you embark on this journey it matters that you find a charity that suits you, you need to enjoy the experience, it needs to be rewarding as well as fun.
This valuable time you find you have is special, in my case once the children had grown up and left home and my work commitments had diminished I was left feeling a little unsure of my next steps, what would or should I do? And fundamentally Who am I? Having spent a chunk of life putting myself last only to find now I had free choices to make that impacted only on me.
The organisations I volunteer for are all community based worthy causes. The work has made me feel useful & needed. I have been given training in certain aspects and have learned new skills.
The best part of the whole experience for me has been the new friendships that have come out of this, the impact my volunteering time has made on myself.
The group of people I have been lucky enough to call friends, have made a huge impact on my life, it’s not easy to make new friends especially when you are no longer on the fast carousel of life. People from many different walks of life that perhaps I would never normally have come across but in this case all with one similar wish, to help others. 
We have shared a lot together, when those paths in life tear us off into an unknown direction we have supported each other, often over a cuppa tea and a biscuit we have listened to each other talk about  kids, relationship breakdown, parents dying, moving house, becoming Grandparents to name a few.
During the pandemic we continued working which for those of us who lived alone was a valuable lifeline. We have laughed and cried together.
Last year we decided to set up a Winter craft evening once a month to help us get through the long cold winter nights. We have shared skills, knitting, dressmaking, cooking, gardening, passing on our experiences and wisdom.
What I’m trying to get across is that there is as much to get out of volunteering for oneself as there is for those you are helping.

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