Volunteering – a great way to meet people

If you are feeling lonely a great way to meet new people and support your community is through volunteering.

Age Concern estimates that 10 percent of older people in New Zealand are socially isolated.

Chief Executive of Volunteering NZ Scott Miller says “seniors make great volunteers.  They have a unique set of skills and knowledge to offer as well as a lifetime of experience.  This means seniors can help others in a variety of ways from mentoring young people to offering companionship and care.”

Scott says volunteerism isn’t just beneficial for those being helped – it’s a great way to feel part of your community and have fun.

“Volunteering helps change the way people think about older adults.  It also promotes healthy physical activity and prevents isolation and depression.”  

Doug Gordon has been volunteering in the kitchens at the Mary Potter Hospice for over 20 years and says he gets a real buzz out of being able to give back to the community.

“I really enjoy interacting with others. Just being there to listen can make a real difference to another person. If you are thinking about volunteering – give it a go. It’s not hard.   Most organisations will put you through some training sessions before you start so you don’t need to be an expert. ”

 

Volunteer Doug Gordon at Mary Potter Hospice

How to find a volunteer role:

  • through friends or family – ask around and see what group may need some help
  • by asking groups you or your family are already associated with
  • by contacting your regional volunteer centre – in person, by phone or via their website
  • online through a volunteering website, like SEEK Volunteer.