For lots of reasons.
And sometimes it’s not always about giving. People often feel they get back much more than they give.
In Telford & Wrekin, the Shropshire Wildlife Trust operates something called the Green Gym. Daniel has been volunteering for three years. We went along to Lightmoor Nature Reserve to meet him and find out how volunteering has changed his life:
What is the Green Gym?
Daniel: We’ll, the Green Gym is a voluntary organisation that works in conservation. So, we do a lot of coppicing, particularly on days like today, coppicing, hedge laying, path clearing, weeding. We also work on our plots at Woodside allotments.
How did you hear about it?
Daniel: I was referred by my local job centre because I was suffering from my depression. They acknowledged the fact that I liked outdoor gardening work; they referred me to the Green Gym. This was three years ago when I first joined. And I’ve been her ever since.
What do you get out of it?
Daniel: I get a lot of things really. I’m getting physically fitter. With my depression, I found that I was comfort eating a lot. So I needed something, a programme that will help me not only to get fitter but get my life back on track as well. And that’s what the Green Gym has done vastly for me.
How do you feel now?
Daniel: Well, compared to when I first started, much better. I feel more positive about life and in myself. And I’ve also been able to lose a couple of stone, since I first joined. So, I’m hoping to keep that going.
Would you recommend the Green Gym to anyone else?
Daniel: Absolutely. If anyone’s a bit afraid because of the fact this is a green ‘gym’ don’t be put off. You’re not going into a building using exercise machines. This is something completely different. You’re outdoors. You’re out in nature, basically. So, you’re working in woodlands, nature reserves or at our allotments. So it’s something completely different to what people might imagine it to be.
We’d like to thank Daniel for sharing is story. If he has inspired you to volunteer, here are some useful links to help you take the first step:
The Green Gym is run by the Shropshire Wildlife Trust. Find out more HERE
Volunteering doesn’t have to involve physical exertion; for more volunteering opportunities in Telford & Wrekin, click on this logo:
The Five Ways to Wellbeing are simple ways to make small changes in your life that make you feel better about yourself. But sometimes we need a little more help so:
If you need support straight away….
If you are concerned about your state of mind and are feeling low or anxious, it’s a good idea to speak about your feelings with your local GP.
Also, below are contact details for organisations that can provide support, advice or a listening ear: