By volunteering you are going to engage with like-minded individuals within your community and improve the local environment for everyone, what's not to love about that? In this blog our volunteer Katia Oddi explores the many reasons why you should consider getting involved.
It is now mid-February so there is a high chance that those well-intentioned New Year resolutions are a distant memory. If they aren’t, and you are succeeding then well done and KEEP GOING! If the other 80% of you are like me and have failed with the resolutions so far, we (North Devon Biosphere) can provide you with all your constructive resolution ideas, i.e. volunteering (which is also likely to involve eating cake). But other than the obvious cake incentive, why volunteer?
A meta-study (a study looking at multiple studies), 87 in this instance, identified that generally volunteering is good for our health with a multitude of benefits found, such as improved mental health; increased life satisfaction, and reduction in stress.Also, another study found that volunteers working on environmental projects were more likely to meet physical activity recommendations . So really environmental volunteering, like the opportunities available within the North Devon Biosphere could also help reach other resolutions or goals (ahem losing some of that Christmas chocolate weight,although the cake might counteract this…).
Whilst the health benefits alone are likely to entice even the most reluctant volunteer, volunteering can also be really important for prospective employers. In America it was found that volunteering is associated with 27% higher odds in employment .Not to mention the benefits identified by graduateguide.co.uk ,i.e. gaining experience, getting your foot in the door, networking and improving yourself. Even if you aren’t a graduate or not looking for a career in conservation, the inevitable development of new skills through volunteering is always going to be beneficial no matter what stage of life you are in.
Lastly, but most definitely not least, volunteering is a vital part of society. Many industries simply wouldn’t be able to function without input from volunteers, and the environment and conservation industry is one of them. By volunteering you are going to engage with like-minded individuals within your community, potentially making new friends and you will improve the local environment for everyone (who doesn’t want to hear more birds singing or bees buzzing?). For instance, the tree planting on Woolacombe Down next weekend (22nd/23rd February) will benefit our local community through soil (and nutrient) retention, creation of homes for wildlife and will act as a carbon sink. These kind of small actions locally are vital to aid in tackling the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis globally, and what is not to love about that.
Visit our Seasonal Activities Page>Volunteer for a local event to find out about local volunteering organisations and opportunities.
Written by our amazing volunteer Katia Oddi
Katia is originally from West London but has recently moved to North Devon. She is however familiar with the South West having studied a foundation degree in Marine Conservation at Newquay College, an undergraduate degree in Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology at Plymouth University and a Masters in Conservation Science and Policy at Exeter University (Penryn Campus). She currently works in nature conservation and is very excited about getting involved with all that the North Devon Biosphere has to offer.
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