By Enoch Kanagaraj, Store Manager (Watford and St Albans)
To celebrate Volunteers Week, I wanted to share my volunteering story with you.
I left my home country 30 years ago. It’s never easy starting a new life in a new place. There were many points in time where I felt isolated and lonely.
Meeting people and making new friends became paramount, so I started to volunteer at my local church and food banks to overcome loneliness. That’s when my love for volunteering started. Volunteering and helping others can help us feel a sense of belonging, make new friends, and connect with our communities. And there are loads of opportunities like this on Co-operate.
Now, 30 years later, I’m married with two children, Jasmine 12 and Jadon 8. I’m also a Founder and Chairman of a charity which focuses on bringing people together and providing support to those in need. And, i’m also a school governor and Vice Chair of the Watford Interfaith association.
Volunteering helps you and your community
I believe volunteering can really help with wellbeing. Personally, it’s helped me make new friends and connect with my local community. It’s also helped increase my self-confidence. I love networking and learning about different culture and people.
The more we give, the happier we feel. By volunteering, you’re doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity.
I’d recommend everyone give volunteering a go. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea. I was once on the fence too. But give it a try and you never know; you may just love it. Co-operate is a great pathway that helps bring people together, to meet and work for your local communities.
There are over 18,000 volunteering opportunities up and down the country on Co-operate. Why not have a look and see?