Volunteer, verb: to help, to come forward, to step up.

Practical conservation volunteer helping to clear footpaths at Westerland Valley Country Park. Photo: Groundwork SouthPractical conservation volunteer helping to clear footpaths at Westerland Valley Country Park. Photo: Groundwork South

There has certainly been plenty of this taking place over the last few months, but it’s difficult to imagine that anyone who volunteered to help another member of the community did so in pursuit of reward or personal gain.

Despite maybe never having met who they are helping, those people who offered to collect a prescription or do some shopping did so because they wanted to ‘give’, not to benefit.

But we do benefit from volunteering.

It helps us feel part of something, more connected to our community, which in turn has a positive impact on our mental health and wellbeing.

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Babbacombe Bay Bloomers are a group that make a big difference to their surroundings by caring for planted beds, baskets and green spaces in the area but equally, being part of a group like this makes a big difference to each individual because volunteering means making friends and meeting like-minded people.

Volunteering in parks, gardens and other green spaces provides opportunities for physical activity, plenty of fresh air and time spent outdoors, which is good for general wellbeing.

Over at Clennon Lakes, the Friends group welcome anyone wanting to raise their heart rate with a bit of scrub vegetation clearance.

However, if gentle cardio is more your thing you could help the Oldway Gardens Volunteer Group with a bit of weeding.

With rising levels of climate anxiety, Green Space volunteering also offers the chance to take action, albeit on a local scale.

Volunteering at Westerland Valley Country Park might see you getting involved in conservation work and habitat management.

While joining the Friends of Stoodley Knowle in caring for the wildflower meadow may be the thing if you want to do your bit to address the decline of our native pollinators.

So remember, while the reasons that people volunteer in parks and green spaces may be many and varied, so too are the benefits - for you!

To find out more about volunteering with local Green Space groups, contact Hannah Worthington on 07940510616 or email hannah.worthington@groundwork.org.uk