Age-friendly and inclusive volunteering: Review of community contributions in later life
This review of community contributions in later life calls on charities, voluntary organisations and the public sector to do more to support and sustain the good will and effort of older volunteers.
As well as helping others, making a contribution to our communities is good for us. It has been shown to improve our social connections, enhance our sense of purpose and self-esteem – and as a result, to increase our life satisfaction, happiness and wellbeing.
By the time people reach later life, the vast majority already have some experience of contributing to their communities. People contribute in many and varied ways – ranging from getting involved in formal civic roles and volunteering with charities or public sector organisations, to engaging in community or mutual support groups, to helping out friends and neighbours.
Very few people in later life make no contribution of any kind. However, some people encounter barriers to getting involved in all the ways they might want to, especially as their circumstances change.