Definition of volunteering

“Volunteering can be defined as an activity that involves spending unpaid time, doing something that aims to benefit the environment, individuals or groups. Central to this definition is the fact that volunteering must be a choice freely made by each individual”

(The Compact Code of Good Practice on Volunteering, published in 2005)

There are many definitions of volunteering, but most importantly it’s about giving time freely and voluntarily. This can be formal (organised through groups to help others or the environment and the local community) or informal (direct help or support offered by individuals).

Volunteering is an altruistic behaviour and people do so for various reasons. For instance, you may choose to volunteer to develop skills or experience, to socialise or give something back to society. You may also volunteer because you feel it’s a moral duty or you are passionate about a worthy cause.

Volunteering is based on mutual trust without any legal obligations. Therefore any party can cancel an agreement at any point in time.

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