Volunteers make the world go round, particularly in small communities. They are so vital to the social and economic success of small communities and central to the memories many of us make within our own towns and villages. Our festivals in particular rely on volunteers, and they need help. New faces, new ideas and new skills are always needed. If you’ve ever considered becoming a volunteer with your local festival, here are just five reasons why you should go for it and be part of something!
1. It develops friendships, new and old
The great thing about volunteering is that it brings people of all walks of life together. It’s a leveller, and no matter your personality or your interests, you’re bound to make new friends you might not have encountered elsewhere. Working towards a common goal also strengthens existing relationships, and children who volunteer with their parents are also more likely to become adult volunteers.
2. You’ll live a longer, happier life
Studies have shown that volunteers feel more socially connected, and less likely to experience loneliness and depression. And there is growing evidence to suggest that people who give their time might also be rewarded with better physical health, including lower blood pressure and a longer lifespan.
3. It’s good for your career and education
If you’re just starting out on a career path, volunteering can be a great way of gaining experience for a future career, and gaining the leadership experience that all employers want to see. Engaging in extra-curricular activities enhances your CV and shows employers that you have other skills, too. And volunteering is a great networking opportunity, allowing you to build personal relationships and connections in an informal setting that you may be able to leverage in your career.
4. You’ll get to explore new interests
Volunteering is such a great way of trying new things you might never have had a chance to do elsewhere. Whether it’s costume design, teaching or learning dance routines, singing, painting props or designing posters – by becoming a volunteer with your local festival you could discover a whole new talent you never knew you had!
5. You’re giving something back and making a difference!
There is nothing so rewarding as giving your time and seeing others enjoy what you’ve helped to create. And in a society where so much focus is placed on what we can gain, rather that what we can contribute, volunteering is a breath of fresh air. And while it can be hard work, it’s also the best of fun. What are you waiting for?
Some ways you could volunteer with your local festival:
Marketing and social media
Financial operations (fundraising and sponsorship)
Teaching new skills – e.g. dance, art,
Stewards for live events
Participants in live events
Float and prop design
Contributing services – printing, transport, food etc.
How to get involved
Mayo Volunteer Centre links potential volunteers up with events – visit www.volunteermayo.ie to explore opportunities and register your interest.
If you’d like to volunteer with Ballina Salmon Festival this year, you can register your interest here!