All people who volunteer do so for different reasons, whatever they choose to spend their time on. People may be looking to make friends, to give something back to their community, to use and increase their skills or to gain a sense of achievement or increase confidence.
Overwhelmingly, people volunteer in family support work particularly because of their passion for working with families and their knowledge of the difficulties that family life can bring. For example, in our volunteer survey 70% of people said passion for working with families was the primary reason they chose family support work for their volunteering. As well as this, many people working in this field want to work with families because they feel it matches their skillset. Although the skills needed are different for different roles, those working directly with families tend to need emotional strength to deal with challenging situations, good communication and listening skills, be open minded and non-judgemental and have an ability to work with people on an equal basis.
Some volunteers give their time to family support because they have used a service or been helped by the project themselves. These volunteers bring their experience of receiving the voluntary service and have been inspired to help others because of their own good experience.
Another important aspect of volunteering is the personal development of the volunteer which may increase their skillset and employability. For family support services, this can be particularly important for those who are pursuing careers in health and social care, counselling, social work, paid family support work or work with children as volunteering can increase their experience in the skills needed for such roles.