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• Volunteers are happier, healthier and sleep better than those who don’t volunteer – doctors should recommend it.
• 96% of volunteers say that it “makes people happier”.
• 95% of volunteers say that volunteering is related to feelings of wellbeing.
• Volunteering results in a “helper’s high”, a powerful physical and emotional feeling experienced when directly helping others.
• Just a few hours of volunteer work makes a difference in happiness and mood.
• Sustained volunteering is associated with better mental health.
• Altruistic emotions and behaviours are associated with greater well-being, health, and longevity.
• A strong correlation exists between the well-being, happiness, health, and longevity of people who are emotionally kind and compassionate in their charitable helping activities.
• The experience of helping others provides meaning, a sense of self-worth, a social role and health enhancement.
• Volunteering is highly associated with greater health and happiness.
• Volunteers contribute $200 billion to the Australian economy annually.
• The number of volunteers in Australia has doubled from 1995 (3.2 million) to 2010 (6.1 million).
• The rate of volunteering by young people in Australia increased from 16% in 1995 to 27.1% in 2010.
• Of the 600,000 not for profit organisations in Australia only 60,000 have paid staff.