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Care Guides > 7 Amazing Reasons to Volunteer at a Care Home

7 Amazing Reasons to Volunteer at a Care Home

Volunteer helping a resident read the newspaper

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A care home volunteer is someone who spends their time helping around the home and is an unpaid position.

Volunteering in a care home is an amazing feat and can be an incredibly rewarding thing to do! It’s a great way to get an insight into the care industry in the UK and luckily, most care organisations utilise volunteers in some way.

Volunteers can be any age but are usually over the age of 16 and can come from any background. Volunteering can work perfectly alongside studying, retirement, working, not working, looking for work and some workplaces even offer time off to their employees so they can spend time volunteering.

It’s important to note that volunteering should never be used as a replacement for paid staff, however, it is an amazing way to help with the workforce shortages in the care sector, which have grown since the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Volunteer Statistics

With the NHS in need of extra support now more than ever, The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) found that volunteering has taken a new shape. Those on furlough leave who may have never volunteered before took up micro-volunteering opportunities, where people give small amounts of their time and energy rather than regular commitments.

According to research from The Royal Voluntary Service, of those aged 55-74, 46% were volunteers and the government figures show that 23% of those aged 16 and over in England took part in formal volunteering at least once a month in the year ending March 2020.

Research from Volunteers’ Week states that in 2018/19, the most common reason for volunteering was the desire to improve things or help people.

Why Volunteer at a Care Home? 7 Amazing Benefits

There are a variety of reasons to take on the role of a volunteer in care homes or nursing homes and everyone’s reason is likely to be different, but here are seven of our favourite reasons to volunteer at a care home:

1. It Could Kickstart your Career

If you’re thinking about a new career path in care and you are wondering if you would enjoy working in the care sector, volunteering is the best way to see if it's the right role for you.

By spending your spare time volunteering in a care home, you will get to experience what it's like first-hand and it’s a great way to learn and develop the skills you need in order to kickstart your career in care.

Most care providers or voluntary service providers offer training if needed and will point you in the right direction to all the resources and necessary support.

2. Opportunity for Friendships

Life can be isolating at some times. If you have a lot of spare time on your hands or you are looking to fill what free time you have with something fulfilling, volunteering in a care home is a great way to make some new friends.

Carer speaking with female resident

Whether you volunteer at a care home where you know a resident or in one where you know no one, there are always plenty of opportunities to cultivate new friendships and make a difference.

A common reason to start volunteering in care homes is the loss of a loved one. Volunteering is a beautiful way to reconnect with your local community and to utilise your time by doing something good for yourself and others.

3. It Will Keep you Busy

Everyone loves having spare time, it’s important! But when you have a bit too much, you may find yourself itching to do something. Volunteering is a great way to keep busy and use your spare time to help those in need, like care home residents and care sector staff.

According to the Royal Voluntary Service, 80% of their volunteers said that the work they have taken on improved their mental health and their sense of wellbeing. Not only will being a care home volunteer keep you physically active, but it can also help your mind to be much more present.

Keeping in regular contact with residents and other care home staff members can help you to develop a solid support system, in which you are there to help when they need it and they are willing to do the same for you.

4. You’ll get to Help Others and Give Something Back

Perhaps you’ve once been at the receiving end of volunteering services at some point in your life and you’re looking for a way to repay the support you were once provided.

Volunteering in care homes is the perfect way to ‘pay it forward’ by helping others, you could be giving someone that voluntary support for the first time in their lives.

Not only is volunteering the most amazing way to help care home residents, you’ll also help ease the strain that the current care industry is under. By taking a fraction of the workload off of care workers and qualified nurses, high-quality care is a given.

5. You’ll Learn Valuable Life Lessons

There’s a lot to be learned from the elderly as they have so much life experience, from hearing stories to taking life advice, you are guaranteed to learn some valuable life lessons whilst volunteering in a care home.

By talking and interacting with residents, you will be able to gain insight into their lives and what they’ve learned along the way. Not only is listening a great way to help care home residents feel needed, but you’ll also go home with an abundance of advice and perspective that you can implement in your own life.

Having conversations like these can also help you develop a range of skills such as communication, empathy, confidence and listening.

6. It Can Improve Your Confidence

There are quite a few confidence knockers in life, but we can tell you that volunteering is not one, it can actually improve your confidence majorly.

As is the case for many across the country, having extended time away from the workplace and other social situations may have caused us to lose some of our social skills, volunteering can help you gain confidence and improve these skills.

No matter what age, volunteering can give everyone a confidence boost as it gives you the chance to try something new and different whilst making you feel valued.

7. You’ll Gain Amazing Experience

Not only does volunteering in care homes give you the opportunity to find your feet in the sector, but it’s also the perfect way to gain amazing experience. As we’ve already mentioned, volunteering is the perfect way to start a career in care and having that voluntary experience on your CV will give you a big foot in the door.

Everyone has their own reason for volunteering with older people and also has their own ideas of what they will get from the experience. It’s about exploring the opportunities available to you whilst making a difference along the way.

How to Get Started

So you’ve read our amazing reasons to volunteer in a care home and you’ve decided to take the leap, here’s how to get started.

Most care providers in the UK offer volunteering opportunities and work experience placements.

These can likely be found on their websites, alternatively, you can apply through a voluntary service provider such as NCVO, The Royal Voluntary Service, Age UK and Reach Volunteering.

We’re on a mission to support individuals and their loved ones throughout each stage of their later living journey. For more information, check out everything Lottie has to offer.

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