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Video and Live blogging

Alistair Macintosh talk

… has discovered that he can sing this morning.

Volunteers are a vital part of his local charity’s work. If you want something done, ask a busy person. He’s asked us to raise our hands if we volunteer, closing our eyes if no-one wants to see us. Most of us have. Why do we volunteer? We might have experienced or have a family member that has experienced illness, or we want to give something back, or we act from a faith or humanist motivation.

Alistair has two even better reasons. Volunteering is about a reciprocal relationship, that gives back to us at least as much as we give to those we support: a new skill; recognition of our need to be needed; improved health and mental well-being; reduced isolation; a connection with others’ vulnerability and our common humanity. It also connects us with our local community, sustaining a healthy neighbourhood and society, creating the warp and weft of existence. This is why the long-hours culture, which reduces the opportunity for volunteering, is so damaging.

To summarise his two mintues, volunteering could change your life… for good.