The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Benefits of Volunteering

In my nine years as Headmaster, I have met and worked with some incredible volunteers through all of the myriad of parent support groups that make Scotch College a leading parent connected community.

Well it is that time of year again, the Scotch Parents AGM is on tomorrow night, Tuesday 19 November. Never have three letters struck more fear into the human race than 'AGM'. It is a three letter acronym usually associated with an event to be avoided in order to escape getting a job on a committee, or even worse, chairing the committee.

Instead it should be seen as a rare opportunity to give back to our community and add to the experience your son will have while at Scotch. When I first arrived, we had two parent committees; the original Mothers' Auxiliary, (a secret term meaning 'no men here') later renamed Scotch Auxiliary and the Parents' Association. While each group did a sensational job, there was a lot of community confusion having two parent groups.

With this in mind we all worked to create a single entity, now known as Scotch Parents. The idea was to have a group who represent our whole College from PreK – Year 12. Since its formation, this group has continued the magnificent work of our two previous groups.

Structure aside, what really matters is that Scotch Parents offers everyone a chance to make a real difference to the College and the resources and opportunities we can provide for every boy.

To volunteer is a noble act for which Australians are renowned – remember the Sydney Olympics. So why volunteer and get involved in the Scotch community? The answer lies in a number of areas.  The Western Connecticut University (2018) researched this topic with their own community and found the following benefit of volunteering.

1. Volunteering connects you to others

One of the better-known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. Unpaid volunteers are often the glue that holds a community together. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place.

2. Volunteering helps you make new friends and contacts

One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to a place. Volunteering also strengthens your ties to the community and broadens your support network.

3. Volunteering increases your social and relationship skills

While some people are naturally outgoing, others are shy and have a hard time meeting new people. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice and develop your social skills, since you are meeting regularly with a group of people with common interests.

4. Volunteering as a family

While it might be a challenge to coordinate everyone's schedules, volunteering as a family has many worthwhile benefits. Children watch everything you do. By giving back to the community, you show them firsthand how volunteering makes a difference.

5. Volunteering is good for your mind and body

Volunteering provides many benefits to both mental and physical health.

  • Volunteering increases self-confidence
  • Volunteering combats depression
  • Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy

6. Volunteering: The happiness effect

Helping others kindles happiness, as many studies have demonstrated.

7. Volunteering can advance your career

If you are considering a new career, volunteering can help you get experience in your area of interest and meet people in the field. Even if you are not planning on changing careers, volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organization.

8. Volunteering can teach you valuable job skills

Volunteering can also help you build upon skills you already have and use them to benefit the greater community.

9. Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life

Volunteering is fun. Doing volunteer work you find meaningful and interesting can be a relaxing, energising escape from your day-to-day routine of work, school, or family commitments. Volunteering also provides you with renewed creativity, motivation, and vision that can carry over into your personal and professional life.

So, if you thought coming to the Scotch Parents' AGM was risky, think again, it can change your life and make your son's journey at Scotch one to remember.

Our College is renowned for the level of parental commitment and involvement. Come and get onboard and experience the difference. Do not leave this up to others.