An inspirational booklet that highlights the achievements of older people volunteering in retirement has been published by UK volunteering charity CSV to encourage more newly and upcoming retirees to think about volunteering.
The publication, called “Volunteering in Retirement: new beginnings”, features personal stories from CSV volunteers and the impact they have had on their lives and to community. For example, Helen Forrester retired at 61 years old from her demanding career as a civil servant. She was keen to use her experience, knowledge and skills in education, management and as a school governor to make a difference in her local community. She volunteers her time with CSV as a mentor to a young university student.
Helen says “We meet once a week. My role is a sympathetic listener; I try to boost her confidence and give advice to help her achieve her goals. I’m gratified that I’m needed and what I’m offering is helping her.” Talking about volunteering in retirement, she says “The key is having a balance of activities. You can volunteer for as much time as you want. That’s the great thing about being retired and volunteering – you make your own rules.”
The voluntary sector and many small organisations need additional skills more than ever to meet the challenges of the tough economic climate. A CSV survey revealed that nearly half of organisations questioned had a need for skilled volunteers, particularly in the fields of business development, marketing, accounting and finance.
Older people can get stuck in to a range of volunteering opportunities to suit their lifestyles. From being a trustee, mentoring a young person, building a website, designing marketing materials, to carrying out conservation work in a local allotment – the list is endless.
In the introduction to the booklet, Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, endorses CSV’s efforts to bring more newly-retired people into the voluntary sector.
“I have seen for myself what a difference someone with business experience can make to a local charity – and it is always striking how much they too get out of the opportunity.”
“There are 14 million people over 60 years of age with a lifetime’s worth of knowledge, skills, and experience to share. Retirement is an opportunity for you to use and develop your skills and talents further than you thought possible. We are delighted to have the Government’s support for our campaign.”
This booklet has been produced in line with CSV’s membership and commitment to the Active Ageing Alliance.
CSV (Community Service Volunteers) creates opportunities for people to take an active part in the life of their communities through volunteering, learning and community action. Last year 150,000 people gave their time as volunteers through CSV. The charity trained 5,000 people of all ages. www.csv.org.uk