Participation in social and community life has attracted a lot of attention in the field of wellbeing research. Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy.

Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing.

Volunteering

Organisations and charities are always on the lookout for volunteers to bolster their numbers and often rely on them to carry out some of their work without having to dip into their funds. Volunteering can often be very rewarding and worthwhile for those who get involved.

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A database of UK volunteering opportunities. Search opportunities by interest, activity or location and apply online

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The St Ives & Fenstanton Time Bank is a community project open to all - a way for people to share their knowledge and skills with their community, and be rewarded for it!

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A group of volunteers who help make St Ives a beautiful place to live - see their website for details of regular work parties

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NCVO has advice for helping and supporting others during the Covid-19 pandemic, including how to sign up as an NHS Volunteer Responder

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Volunteer with the Norris Museum in St Ives and feel part of the community - make a real difference - gain experience!

Volunteers at Food Bank

St Ives Volunteer Centre can match you with an opportunity to suit you - working in museums, charity shops, helping with fundraising, being a Trustee or leading campaigns

Picking Up Trash

Voluntary opportunities for young people interested in youth social action: volunteering, campaigning and fundraising

Kindness

What are the health benefits of kindness?

  • Helping others feels good - studies have found that acts of kindness are linked to increased feelings of wellbeing.

  • It creates a sense of belonging and reduces isolation - it helps you create, maintain and strengthen social connections.

  • It helps keep things in perspective - doing good may give you a more positive outlook about your own circumstances.

  • It helps to make the world a happier place - one act of kindness can often lead to more.

  • The more you do for others, the more you do for yourself - helping others can improve your self esteem.

Remember to be kind to yourself:

  • Prioritise some 'me' time, so you can relax and reflect on how your day or week has been so far

  • Turn off your social media channels for day, or even a week

  • Treat yourself to something small, such as buying or planting some flowers

  • Do something you enjoy, like listening to a favourite song or dancing in your kitchen

  • Spend some time in nature, which is good for our mental health

From the Mental Health Foundation

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A guide to show the positive impact helping others can have on your own mental health, including some tips and suggestions to inspire you.   Do something kind for a friend or a stranger today.  

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Bursting with 100s of free ideas to promote kindness towards others and make kindness the norm in our schools, workplaces, homes & communities

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Action for Happiness helps people take action for a happier and kinder world. Try their free 10 Days of Happiness programme

Explore more ways to wellbeing