Find Your Ikigai Through Volunteering

Whether newly retired or feeling stuck in a rut with the daily grind, many of us are struggling to find our mojos after the disruption of the pandemic and the anxiety created by the crisis in Ukraine. But the Japanese concept of Ikigai - finding value in day-to-day living - may hold at least part of the answer.

This doesn’t mean making big dramatic changes. It can be as simple as taking steps to feel more connected to your community and those around you. Volunteering is a great way to start this process.

  1. Start small – with so many opportunities out there, it can be hard to decide where to start and what will fit around your other commitments. Microvolunteering (small remote tasks with flexible timings) can be a great way to get a taste for volunteering without making a big regular commitment ( Being part of something bigger that is making a difference gives you a real purpose. Or maybe try helping at a one off event to meet other volunteers and feel part of a group. Sign up to receive alerts about one off volunteering opportunities on our website and start your search
  2. Stay local – giving back to your local community and seeing the difference you make is hugely rewarding. Whether driving local residents to medical appointments or helping with collections for the local foodbank, it’s surprising how many voluntary groups there are in your area that would gladly take new volunteers. For regular newsletters about local opportunities sign up here
  3. Find your cause – think about what matters to you and what you care about. To get the most out of your volunteering, it’s important to find something that matters to you. Not sure where to start? You can search for opportunities local to you on our website or speak to the team at Voluntary Support who can share opportunities that align with your interests.
  4. Reap the rewards – Once you have the right volunteering role, enjoy the benefits that it brings. It may be as simple as feeling like a valued member of your community or you may find you are able to develop new skills and friendships through your volunteering work. A fresh perspective and sense of satisfaction may soon put the spring back in your step.
  5. Share your experience – If you love the way volunteering makes you feel, be sure to tell others the difference it is making – the perfect excuse for a humblebrag. If your company doesn’t currently offer opportunities for staff to volunteer, let them know about the difference it has made for you and connect them to Voluntary Support North Surrey who can help them find ways to incorporate volunteering into their strategy.


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