Why Work or Volunteer?

The benefits of working.

There are many reasons why people choose to be in work or volunteering. Generally, good work and volunteering is considered of benefit to our health and wellbeing.

Research indicates that as well as rewarding us financially, being in work or volunteering can help you to develop confidence and self-esteem, meet new people, increase your time spent socialising, join support groups and find new interests.

People who have completed their Routes journey report many of the above benefits by the time they leave the programme, whether they are moving into work or education, or have become confident enough to start applying for jobs for the first time or after a long period of not being in work.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists also recognises and promotes the link between wellbeing and work. In their paper Employment and mental health, they highlight the social and health benefits of good work. Benefits include a way of structuring and occupying time, and that work can be an important part of a person’s recovery journey. Their report also suggests that people in work tend to enjoy happier and healthier lives than those who are not in work.

All the support I have received has been amazing for my confidence and mental health, and has enabled me to apply for a job and approach an interview without nerves.

Some people believe that their mental health, chronic illness or prior criminal convictions will mean that organisations will not want - or be able - to support or offer them work. This is not always the case. Making sure that you have the right information and access to advice and support is key in making sure that you don’t miss out on your perfect career or job opportunity. To find out more click the links below:

Read our page on Your health and wellbeing for more information.

Our Advisers' Top Tips:

Mirco says: Work can have excellent health benefits: it can give us structure, help us to develop social networks beyond our family and friends, besides all the advantages of being financially independent.

Volunteering can help us to get recent relevant experience, provide an opportunity for us to showcase our skills to future employers, gain references and access job opportunities. A lot of employers prefer to hire someone who already knows the organisation, I used this approach myself.

Video: Wellbeing in the Workplace