Changing Lives' National Volunteer Manager Sead Masic explains what International Volunteer Day is, and why it matters.

International Volunteer Day (IVD) on 5 December was designated by the United Nations in 1985 as an international day to celebrate the power and potential of people who are volunteering across the world.

This is also an opportunity for volunteers and volunteer involving organisations to raise awareness and appreciate the contribution they make to their communities. It is a unique opportunity to celebrate their efforts, share their values, and promote their work among their communities, charities, non-governmental organisations, United Nations agencies, government authorities and the private sector.

The act of volunteering is ubiquitous and is found in all cultures, languages, and religions. Each year, hundreds of millions of people volunteer their time and skills to help make the world a better place. When they volunteer, they help to improve the lives of others and also gain a greater sense of belonging to their communities.

On 5 December, people around the world will celebrate IVD with rallies, parades, volunteer fairs, group clean ups, blood donations, conferences, exhibitions, fundraising, workshops and volunteer recognition events.

Changing Lives sees its volunteers playing an increasingly important role in the organisation. The benefits of volunteering to the organisation, to our service users and to the people who are our volunteers are invaluable as they generate enthusiasm and interest and help to create a positive image of the organisation in the community.

If International Volunteer Day has inspired you, find out more about volunteering with Changing Lives here: https://www.changing-lives.org.uk/how-you-can-help/volunteer/

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