Suffolk Mind identifies Meaning and Purpose as one of the Key “Emotional Needs” for mental well being , allowing us to “cope with suffering and keep going when life becomes difficult and stressful.” 

We can meet the need for Meaning and Purpose by learning new skills, such as studying a language, an academic subject, obtaining a profession or practising a sport or a craft.” 

We can also meet the need for Meaning and Purpose by helping others and feeling that we are connected to something larger than ourselves. 

The NHS lists giving to others as one of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing saying that “small acts of kindness towards others, or larger ones like volunteering in your local community, can give you a sense of purpose.”

Giving to others creates positive feelings, gives us a sense of self-worth and helps us to strengthen our relationships with others.

We know that giving to others is a good thing for those whom we help but it is important to recognise the mental health benefits for ourselves when we give. Helping others who are in some ways less fortunate than ourselves gives us a sense of perspective and makes us less likely to allow our own problems to overwhelm us.

Volunteering in teams strengthens relationships with work colleagues, revealing strengths and talents often hidden in our day to day working lives and allows us to see others in a new light (and vice versa). Working together for the greater good breaks down entrenched workplace hierarchies, leading to better communication, respect and positive associations with work.

Employees engaged in these programmes feel more positive towards their employers, leading to better engagement and loyalty within the work place.

Through our work with National Charity, Volunteering Matters, we are delighted to be able to include a wide range of opportunities to volunteer within the community as part of our extended Employee Engagement and Sociable Learning Programmes. This is a wonderful chance for businesses and organisations to engage with the local communities in which they work and deliver on their commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, whilst at the same time engaging their employees and reaping the rewards of a happier, more productive workforce.

The Specialist Employee Volunteering Team at Volunteering Matters have expert knowledge of the needs of local communities and grass-roots organisations coupled with a unique understanding of how to match employers from all sectors so that every year, they are able to engage over 10,000 volunteers from over 50 companies in more than 400 community settings.

To learn more about Volunteering Matters and the kinds of opportunities and projects which might be
available to you as an organisation, go to Volunteering Matters

Whether as part of an overall Employee Engagement Programme, a targeted Mental Health and Wellbeing Initiative or purely for its own sake, engaging in Community Volunteering Schemes is a hugely valuable and positive course of action for any company committed to the wellbeing of its employees. 

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