Retired and seniors volunteering programme
Volunteer Nelson has initiated several volunteering programmes which are focused on youth volunteers and is working to develop youth volunteering. At the other end of the age spectrum we are working to develop volunteering amongst the retired and senior sector of our community. The “Baby Boomer” generation are approaching retirement age and all projections are that the number of retired people will grow significantly over the next two decades.
An important part of planning for retirement is planning on how to spend the time that you will have on your hands. This is where volunteering can become an important part of the retired persons life. Many retirees have a wealth of experience and training which they can channel into new areas. The skills that they have developed through their working life are frequently transferable to a new volunteering opportunity. Many of the volunteers who have retired from paid work frequently comment that they find satisfaction in contributing to something that is important to them.
Social isolation is a threat to the wellbeing of seniors as it has been shown to be damaging to mental and physical health. This is where volunteering can make a big contribution to positive aging in that volunteering often has a social characteristic to the role and allows for the development and maintenance of respectful interpersonal relationships. There are also organisations that provide volunteer befriending activities that involve visiting a senior who has difficulty in mobility and has little contact outside of their home.
Volunteer Nelson plans to encourage more people in the Nelson Tasman region between the ages of 55 to 75 years to become volunteers. We also plan to work with service providers in the age care sector to develop volunteering opportunities. We believe that volunteering can go a long way to defeating social isolation in our region.