Seniors & older people

Viva la Volunteering!


Be happy

Volunteering boosts happiness. Numerous studies that have investigated the link between volunteering and mental health have found the sense of personal accomplishment gained from volunteering has a positive effect, particularly for those aged over 65.

Be healthy

Research demonstrates that volunteering leads to better health and older volunteers are more likely to receive physical and mental health benefits from their volunteer activities.

“My self worth has improved greatly due to the fact I get constant praise and thanks. The social aspect of mixing with people is beneficial to someone who lives alone.” Patricia Boyd, Volunteer

Be vital

Skilled volunteers are vital to the prosperity of not-for-profit organisations. Volunteering is a way to share your skills, mentor others or work on projects that contribute to the community. If you have lived and learned, then there’s probably an organisation that would benefit from your skills, experience and passion.

Be valuable

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and have fresh experiences. It’s never too late to learn a new skill, build on the ones you already have, or explore a new direction. If you’re looking to return to the workforce, volunteering can help you update your skills and add valuable current experience to your resume.

“Plan before you retire and look for something that will give you enjoyment, satisfaction, utilise your skills and challenge you to learn new skills.” Brian Vandersee, Volunteer

Things to consider

There are a few things to consider before seeking out the right volunteering opportunity for you.

  • How much time do you want to spend volunteering? Do you want to volunteer on a regular basis, for a short-term project or a one-off event?
  • What skills can you offer an organisation? What level of responsibility would you like to take on?
  • How can volunteering fit in with your other plans? For example, you might choose to combine volunteering and travel during retirement.
  • Do you want to volunteer with a friend or family member? Do you want to work independently or as part of a team?
  • Would you prefer to volunteer outdoors or indoors? Do you want to volunteer from home?
  • Will you need to travel by car and find parking or take public transport?

Follow your interests

A good way to decide on the type of volunteer activity you would like to do is to consider what interests you and how you can give back to the community.

Follow your passion and:

  • work with animals
  • save the environment
  • help out at a festival
  • help out at a local art gallery or theatre
  • teach your peers new skills
  • take tour groups through your favourite local attraction.

Make a difference by:

  • leading a project at an organisation you care about
  • mentoring staff at a not-for-profit organisation
  • balancing the books for a community organisation
  • raising the profile of a cause you care about
  • helping out during disasters.

How to find the right opportunity for you

  1. Search our website to find thousands of current opportunities.
  2. Visit your local Volunteer Resource Centre.
  3. Contact a not-for-profit organisation or school in your local area to see if they have any current opportunities or visit
  4. For volunteer programs such as Justice of the Peace, conservation, health or emergency services, visit to find out what opportunities are available.
  5. Check out the Grey Nomads website at for volunteering opportunities wherever you may park your van.

Once you have found the right role for you, it is important to check the following:

  • What type of screening checks do you need?
  • Will you be reimbursed for any expenses?
  • What type of insurance cover does the volunteer organisation have?

Applying for a role

Here are a few tips for making the application process easy.

  • Your application should include your availability, contact details and some information about why you want to volunteer with the organisation.
  • Keep it informal.
  • Have some questions ready to make sure it is the right opportunity for you. What is the commitment required? How can you contribute?

Ready to utilise your skills in an enjoyable, friendly environment?

Start searching volunteer opportunities today!


Photo: Happy volunteer