OLDHAM Council and its partners are encouraging people to consider volunteering as part of the final week of its New Year New You campaign.
Thousands of people volunteer in Oldham each year and there is room for more to give just a small part of their time to help others as well as gaining personal benefits such as to their health.
Studies have found that when people stop thinking about their own problems and focus on someone other than themselves, stress levels start to decrease.
And playing a role in the local community is a very important part of Oldham’s great heritage.
Councillor Arooj Shah Oldham Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Lead for Social Justice and Communities, said:
“January is a great time for people to set personal goals and volunteering is one of those ‘hidden gems’ that people who give time to help others say they wished they had started sooner.
“For children and young people, volunteering builds social skills and develops awareness that proves very attractive to future employers.
“For older people, the benefits of volunteering show up quickly and have long-term effects. For example, the benefits of consistent socialising include better brain function and lower risk for depression and anxiety.
“And for all those busy people who think they haven’t got time to volunteer, just a couple of hours volunteering a week can prove a fun distraction from the stresses of everyday lives.”
Action Together is an accredited Volunteer Centre in Oldham that helps both individuals find a suitable place to volunteer as well as working with organisations to advertise suitable opportunities.
Based in offices in Manchester Chambers (just off West Street), Oldham Town Centre, Action Together offers a range of support to strengthen communities. Their belief is that by learning together, sharing skills and pooling resources more can get done.
Nayan Joshi, Senior Partnerships & Project Officer at Action Together, said: “It is great to think that one person’s efforts can change the life of someone else in Oldham. However, the best part, and often overlooked, is that volunteering is just plain fun.
“We support people to get help, providing opportunities to get better connected to what is going on in their local community and find the support they need.
“We also strengthen community and voluntary groups by providing support to run their group, find and secure resources and work together to do more.”