But what are the benefits of volunteering for you and your child? Besides the skills gained from volunteering, there are real personal benefits.
So check out our top 8 reasons why your children should volunteer:
Build community spirit
Volunteering strips away barriers between people. They’re working together, without pay, for the common good.
Getting your kids involved young shows them that a community can achieve things by uniting and being a little selfless.
Learn the value of work
It can be hard for young people to understand that not everything in life comes to them for free. One of the benefits of volunteering is that it will help them find out the effort that goes into making things happen.
They’ll also learn about the satisfaction that a job done well can give – and that helping others can be its own reward.
Give something back
Pretty much every child benefits from the work of volunteers. Whether it’s the teacher who runs their netball team, the leader of their Scout Troup, or the coach at their gymnastics class, it's volunteers who give your child all that enriching fun.
If they’re getting the benefits, why not give something back and get them involved in volunteer activities for kids. And doing so, though it may tire them out, will make them feel better about themselves and show them they can make a difference.
Teach them about compassion
Children develop compassion and empathy at different rates. Volunteering is a great way to encourage these attributes.
Through volunteer activities for kids, they’ll learn that by caring enough to help, they make a difference to lives and to their community.
Learn new skills
You’re sick of them watching YouTube videos for hours on end, or playing just one more game of FIFA, aren’t you? You’d rather they were out doing something they could learn from, something that rounds them out as individuals.
Getting them into volunteering – whether that’s as an older child helping out at Cubs or Brownies, or planting bulbs and litter-picking with the local community gardeners – is a chance for them to pick up new skills.
Learning something new is something we put great value on at Barracudas summer camps, but volunteering comes with that bonus of knowing you’re doing good work for others.
Moving out of their comfort zone
We all want to protect our kids – but they have to learn about real life and real work.
Volunteering is a great way to introduce them to things they are not used to. It doesn’t have to take up days and weeks of their lives, just an hour or two once week or once a month will give them a taste of what’s going on in other people’s lives.
Good for uni and job applications
Ok, this might seem like quite a while off, but early experience can stand kids in good stead. Competition for jobs and university places can be fierce so anything that sets a young person apart is useful. Volunteering takes dedication and decision-makers like to see that kind of gumption from their applicants.
Besides, communication and time management skills gained from volunteering can be easily transferred into student or working life.
They’ll meet people they wouldn’t have otherwise
Making that first step into volunteer activities for kids can be daunting. All those strangers! But strangers quickly become friends as they work together to help others.
Many young people who start volunteering as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme don’t stop when they’ve hit their target hours. Instead, they keep it up because they enjoy spending time with the people they meet as they help at clubs and old folks’ homes.
Volunteering broadens their life experience and teaches them to be approachable and friendly.
Does your child volunteer? Let us know about their experiences in the comments below.