4 inspiring ideas for getting more involved with your local community

If you find yourself with time on your hands, getting involved in your local community could be a great way to boost your mental and physical wellbeing while supporting a worthy cause.

Perhaps you’ve just waved your last child off to university or you’re recently retired? Maybe you’re cutting back on work hours and easing into retirement gradually? Whatever your circumstances, there are plenty of interesting ways to donate some of your free time to the community.

What’s more, with Loneliness Awareness Week and Volunteers’ Week both falling in June, it’s an ideal month to get out and about, meet new people, and do your bit to help out.

So, if you’ve got a hankering for trying something new, but you’re not sure how to get started, we can help.

Read on to discover four inspiring ideas for getting more involved in your local community this summer and beyond.

1. Volunteer for community projects that interest you

Getting involved in community projects is a fantastic way to expand your social circle, build new friendships, and develop skills and knowledge in areas that interest you.

By sharing your passion and expertise, you could also help boost the wellbeing and employment prospects of people in your local area.

While the projects available will vary depending on where you live and how far you’re willing and able to travel, there’s generally no shortage of organisations looking for eager volunteers to lend a helping hand.

A good starting point is to think about what you enjoy doing or what you may be interested in learning.

If you love spending time with young people, try contacting local schools and libraries. If you’re naturally green-fingered, get in touch with local conservation sites, parks, and gardens, to see if they’re in need of any helpers.

Community venues such as village halls, libraries, and arts hubs are often the best places to learn about new opportunities.

Additionally, community projects are increasingly advertised online via volunteering websites, such as DoIT, and social media platforms, like Facebook. At a national level, you can also find a wealth of information on The National Council for Volunteering Organisations (NCVO) website.

2. Support or sponsor a local sports team

Wherever you live, the chances are there are more local sports teams than you’re aware of.

What’s more, many of them are likely to be run on a charitable basis that relies on volunteer support.

So, if you’re a committed sports fan with time or money to donate, you may find yourself spoilt for choice.

Whether you fancy sponsoring a team’s kit, supporting their fundraising activities, or rolling up your sleeves and trying your hand at refereeing, getting involved with a local sports team is a worthwhile community activity.

It could also allow you to connect with people who share your interests and help you keep physically fit.

3. Join a local class and start a new hobby

Life can get busy with work, family, and other commitments. Unfortunately, this often means that much-loved hobbies are abandoned.

And yet, research published by AXA Health has revealed that hobbies can help reduce depression, improve physical health, and combat social isolation and loneliness.

So, if you love painting, but your brushes are gathering dust on a shelf somewhere. Or, if your once frequently used yoga mat is wasting away in the loft, it might be time to explore local opportunities for reviving your hobbies – or starting a new one.

Local colleges and adult education centres often run a wide range of classes. There are also organisations set up for specific community groups, such as the u3a, which offers learning experiences to retirees.

Both you and the community could benefit from your involvement as your membership fees and any associated costs are likely to be fed back into local venues and employment opportunities.

4. Volunteer as a school governor or on the local parish council

Schools and local parish councils are often on the lookout for new volunteers who have the energy and life experience to help them achieve their organisation’s vision.

A school governor helps oversee the strategic direction and performance of a school, whereas a parish counsellor acts as an ambassador for their community and raises awareness of local issues.

There are usually no specific requirements for either role, beyond an eagerness to get involved and help.

To find out about current opportunities, head to your local government or council website.

Get in touch

If you have some free time on your hands, don’t forget to schedule a regular review of your finances to stay on track for achieving your goals. We can help.

Please get in touch either by email at helpme@aspirellp.co.uk or by calling 0117 9303510.

Please note

This article is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

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