The Wardley Wellbeing Hub is the central area for the ACTNow campaign.
How the act of GIVING can improve your wellbeing
GIVE is one the 5 ways to wellbeing that we promote to improve mental health and wellbeing. They are:
- Take notice – be in the present, take note of things around you.
- Be active – being more active, enjoying the outdoors can improve how we feel
- Connect – social relationships are key to promoting good wellbeing.
- Keep learning – do something for yourself and take time to learn something new.
- Give – giving makes us feel good. This could be as simple as saying thank you or sharing a smile.
This post is focused on GIVE and the benefits that giving to others can have on our mental health and sense of wellbeing. As highlighted above, this can be as simple as sharing a smile or reaching out to a friend and giving them a few minutes of your time, or perhaps signposting them to the charity and some of our resources.
Some individuals choose to give money to a cause they care about and for others giving their time as a volunteer is more rewarding. And it’s the giving time aspect that we’re going to focus here.
Giving just a few hours of your time each week or month can really make a difference to your wellbeing, particularly if it’s focused on something you love doing. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with people around you.
Some of the reasons people give for volunteering include interaction with new people – they enjoy the social aspect of it, for others it may provide them with an opportunity to develop new skills (delivering a presentation or coordinating an event for example). Volunteering also provides you with an opportunity to give back and from a wellbeing perspective can provide a much-needed break away from the books and study!
There are numerous volunteer schemes out there, through universities, charity’s such as ours and also through the BPSA. Here at Pharmacist Support we have a number of volunteer opportunities that include:
- Listening Friends – our peer to peer telephone listening service delivered by pharmacists who understand the pressures of the role
- Home visitors who provide a friendly face and support to some of our more isolated, elderly or disabled beneficiaries
- Ambassadors who help raise awareness and vital funds to support the charity – hosting information stands, delivering presentations and organising fundraising events. And our Student Ambassadors form an integral part of this team – they are our people on the ground at each University, helping us ensure that those at the beginning of their pharmacy journey are aware of the support available to them.
Unfortunately, other than our Listening Friends helpline, much of the charity’s volunteering activity has been put on hold due to the pandemic. However, we’re excited as part of our new 5 year strategy to be enhancing our volunteer schemes and look forward to sharing details of how people across the profession can get involved with our work. We will be releasing further details on these opportunities over the coming months and leading into the 2021/22 academic year but encourage those of you interested to keep an eye on our website and social media pages, or better still – sign up to receive our charity newsletter.
To get you inspired we reached out to some of our existing student ambassadors to find out why they wanted to volunteer for the charity.
- Student Ambassador Profile – Joanna McDowall
- Student Ambassador Profile – Saffah Danial
- Student Ambassador Profile – India Cannon
We really couldn’t do what we do without the commitment and enthusiasm of our volunteers and are delighted through the ACTNow campaign to be able to recognise and celebrate the contribution they make and the impact they have on our activities.
Our top reasons for volunteering:
- It’s fun! Volunteering can be great fun and provide you with opportunities to get involved in activities you wouldn’t normally get the chance to and, of course, to make new friends and meet lots of interesting people.
- It will help you stand out from the crowd– In a competitive job market volunteering can help you stand out from the crowd – providing you with interesting real-life experiences and skills for your CV and interviews.
- It’s great for your wellbeing – Study/work-balance is important. Volunteering can help you get out of the student bubble and provide a much needed break away from books and studying.
- It gives you an opportunity to give back – Although volunteering can help you get ahead in your career, 95% of students volunteer because they want to make a difference. What better way to spend your time than supporting a cause that looks after people in your chosen profession.