Often we think of volunteering as a charitable act and while it is great to donate your time and skills to your community, it also offers a lot and can be mutually beneficial. What’s more, since its launch in East Sussex last September, it’s easier than ever to find a role through The Tribe Project (Tribe). Maybe you want to give back to your local community, are keen to gain experience in a new area, or are looking to meet new people and switch up your routine. We have all the information you need on how to volunteer in East Sussex…
What are the benefits of volunteering?
1) Improves your wellbeing
Volunteering is great for your wellbeing and mental health. It’s been shown to “reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose”. It also helps keep people connected so is a great tool for meeting and making new friends and tackling loneliness.
2) A professional stepping stone
Did you know that volunteering can help start or advance your career? It can provide you with the opportunity to build upon existing skills and learn new ones. It also lets you gain experience in a new area of work and see if that role suits you. Volunteering can also help you network and make new contacts, whether that is professional or social. It can also be valuable when you are on a career break or in between jobs.
3) Gives back to your community
Volunteering in your local community is a great way to contribute and give back. There are so many different organisations and causes that need people and support. If you have the time to spare, it can feel great to know you are helping others and investing in your community.
Whether you’re in between jobs, newly retired, or looking to try something different, volunteering offers personal development and the knowledge that you are doing something important and valuable. That’s how volunteer H describes her experience…
“While I was in between jobs, I felt a bit down and wanted to use my time well so decided to volunteer. I wasn’t sure where to start but on a whim, I reached out to my local Foodbank in Hailsham who were keen for my help. Every Wednesday morning at the office, I would offer marketing support, volunteering my knowledge, and then another day in the week, I would create content for their social media. It was also the lead-up to Christmas, so I decided to help with replenishing the warehouse and packing up food parcels as well. It felt good to be helping people who would otherwise be struggling over the festive period. When I wasn’t volunteering, I was applying for jobs and interviewing. It was the best of both worlds as I was putting my experience to good use and it helped me stay productive, and sociable and not spiral about my financial situation.” – H, 30
Where do I start?
Tribe has a range of live roles across East Sussex. You can filter your search by area and distance and include keywords to find the kind of role you’re looking for. For example, if you want to work with people with dementia, you can include that in your keyword search.
Tribe works in partnership with Rother Voluntary Action (RVA), Hastings Voluntary Action (HVA), and Wealden, Eastbourne, and Lewes Voluntary Action (3VA), so all their live positions are included.
With so much variety, it ensures that whatever your age, location, skill set, experience, or availability, you can find a voluntary role that works for you.
Excited to volunteer? Good news! We are only one month in, so there’s still plenty of time to make 2024 the year you volunteer. Find a local voluntary role in East Sussex that works for you through the Tribe website or by downloading the free app.