Why older people should volunteer

Volunteering can give an older person a real sense of purpose and achievement

Getting older can dramatically change someone’s lifestyle

They are likely to have a lot more time on their hands and far less structure to their day

Their sense of purpose may have been affected by retirement, or by a partner dying

Remember, they have a wealth of expertise and experience and it will benefit others, as well as themselves, to volunteer in an area which interests them

They can do something they are interested in, work flexibly to suit them and really make a difference to the lives of others at the same time

There is no age limit to volunteering and some organisations have an average age of volunteers of over 76

Reasons to volunteer

If your parent has become isolated through bereavement,  ill-health or geography, it can help to connect them with like-minded people

Your parent will have the opportunity to gain new skills and be trained in new areas of expertise

Your parent can use  the skills and wisdom they have acquired during a lifetime for the benefit of others

It is a great way to meet new people and gain new friends

It provides a structure for their day and a reason to get out and about

It gives your parent with a sense of purpose and worth

There will be new things to talk about

Research has shown that people who volunteer tend to enjoy better health

How to volunteer

There are many organisations in the UK which are always on the lookout for volunteers.

A good place to start is with the Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme at www.csv-rsvp.org.uk,which assists people to find volunteer posts right across the UK

www.do-it.org.uk    Do-it is the national database of volunteering opportunities. It matches your interest, type of activity you want to do and your  location to find volunteer opportunities

www.volunteering.org.uk   Volunteering England is an independent charity and membership organisation, committed to supporting, enabling and celebrating volunteering in all its diversity. It will give you tips on volunteering in general

www.wvrs.org.uk  WRVS delivers personal and practical support to help older people to volunteer

Many other organisations taking on volunteers include:

The National Trust www.nationaltrust.org/volunteering

English Heritage www.english-heritage.org.uk

City Farms and Community Gardens www.farmgarden.org.uk

All major charities



  1. Top tips: helping from a distance | My Ageing Parent says:

    June 9th, 2012 at 1:27 pm (#)

    […] If you feel they are getting a bit isolated suggest some new activities such as joining U3A  or volunteering […]

Leave a Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Other Life - Keeping busy - Volunteering Articles

Best activities and hobbies for older people

19 Feb 18

When your parent suddenly has more spare time, there is obviously more scope to do some…

Your guide to dating and remarriage in later life

11 Aug 15

They say “You’re never too old to fall in love” and it seems to be true. Just…

Volunteering benefits elderly and society

24 Jan 15

Why older people should volunteer Research has shown that for older adults, volunteering can be an…

Voluntary sector links state and isolated families

20 Feb 14

Loneliness and isolation in older people is increasingly recognised as a major aspect of life that…

From our forum...

11 Aug 12 - alex
24 Jan 13 - deborah

Shop Online - view all

Clare Florist

Clare Florist. Delivering flowers since 1947. Finest local florists guaranteed. 0000

Find out more

Fresh Start

Get a good night’s sleep with Fresh Start adjustable beds. 0000

Find out more


Fannypants® is an award winning brand for incontinence underwear. It comes with removable, washable and reusable…

Find out more