Celebrating Volunteer Power
Every year, from June 1st to 7th, we roll out the red carpet to honour the incredible contributions of volunteers during Volunteers' Week.
This year, as we celebrate the 39th anniversary of this extraordinary event in 2023, it's the perfect time to shine a spotlight on those selfless individuals who make an enormous impact on both the economy and society.
Hold onto your hats because the voluntary sector is about to blow your mind!
According to the esteemed Benefact Group, volunteering had an impact of £18.7 billion in 2022. Can you imagine the colossal costs we'd face without these amazing people? We'd be scrambling to shell out more money for wages or risk losing vital services worth billions of pounds. Yikes!
2020 threw us a curveball with the pandemic, and volunteering temporarily decreased to £11.0 billion. But volunteers helped it bounce back, reaching pre-pandemic levels by 2022.
Sure, there are some changes in volunteer trends, like more volunteers with slightly less time to spare. But let's not forget that the value of volunteering had been soaring for a decade before the pandemic hit. It's a testament to the growing recognition of their status in our society!
Discover how volunteering can enhance your mental health
It's not just about boosting the economy; it's about boosting your happiness too! Studies suggest that those who volunteer have higher life satisfaction scores.
In fact, giving just nine hours of your time to volunteering can bring you the same happiness boost as having an extra £1000 in your bank account. Talk about a win-win!
But that's not all. Volunteering also works wonders for your mental health. It's like a stress-busting superhero cape that can help reduce anxiety and improve your overall well-being. Considering mental healthcare costs a whopping £118 billion, anything that eases the pressure is a godsend.
There's even a report suggesting that improved well-being from volunteering could be worth a staggering £37,000 per year. That's some serious happiness currency right there!
Perks of volunteering
Volunteering isn't just for those with superhero alter egos. Even if you rely on benefits, volunteering is an incredible way to gain skills, boost confidence, and connect with others. Plus, most benefits aren't affected as long as you meet the conditions and keep the benefits office in the loop.
Wait, there's more! Many employers are embracing the spirit of volunteering too. Some even offer paid time off for volunteering projects or pro-bono work. So, if you're part of a team, make sure to check if your company has any exciting initiatives up their sleeve!
Before we wrap up, let's shed some light on the tax implications of being a volunteer
Many not-for-profit organisations rely on their army of volunteers, and for you, the volunteer, there are some financial benefits too. While you won't get a salary, you might be eligible for reasonable expenses like meals, travel costs, childcare, uniforms, and even letter postage.
And guess what? The taxman takes a different stance when it comes to volunteering. As long as your expenses are reasonable and justified, they might not be subject to tax or National Insurance Contributions. Cha-ching!
For further insights and information on this matter, feel free to explore the following link.
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