Volunteering can make you happier - Sewa Day #IAmTheChange campaign set for 5 October 2014

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Volunteers taking part in Sewa Day will not only get the satisfaction of bringing a little joy to those in their community but will also increase their self-confidence and improve well-being.

There are many reasons to taking part in Sewa Day but volunteers also get satisfaction from seeing the results of their efforts as well as gain considerable enjoyment and personal achievement.

That’s the feedback coming from returning volunteers for this year’s Sewa Day (on 5 October) and are some of the reasons why people, especially young people, are signing up in record numbers to take part in the initiative. In fact, in five years Sewa Day could reach one million participants.

Sewa Day, the annual international day of ‘selfless service’, has led to more frequent or regular acts of volunteering. It also confirms previous research that has proven the positive effect of the volunteering. These include: helping to make new friends, increasing social and relationship skills as well as teaching you valuable job skills and increasing self-confidence and combating depression.

The theme for Sewa Day 2014 is #IAmTheChange and it aims to encourage participants to take personal responsibility for volunteering on Sunday 5th October 2014.

Arup Ganguly, chairman of Sewa Day, said: “We all say that we want to volunteer more and young people have over past five years volunteered more than most on Sewa Day, but, to reach out to those who can’t quite organise themselves to donate their time, we say take up our #IAmTheChange challenge, make that small change, commit to doing something selfless on one day of the year.”

Sewa Day hopes that by taking a self portrait (‘selfie’) in this year’s #IAmTheChange t-shirt and posting their volunteering idea on social media, people will remember to participate on Sunday 5 October 2014.

And this year, thousands of volunteers from the UK and abroad voluntary and community organisations, schools as well as companies will give up their time to take part in hundreds of projects to add real value to the local economy and build thriving communities.

Bijal Majithia, a London-based volunteer who last year participated in the Food for Life UK campaign to feed the homeless, said: “For me Sewa Day acts as a heartfelt reminder to the real value of life, the significance in acts of selflessness, and the knowledge that it’s better to give than to receive. This is something I try to live by daily, but Sewa Day serves as an opportunity to share and experience this with others. The peace and inner well-being that comes from shifting our focus outside of our immediate self is really a priceless gift. I'm grateful to be a part of this revolutionary project, and would encourage everyone to get involved in whatever way they can.”

Arup Ganguly concluded: “There are many reasons to taking part in Sewa Day but volunteers also get satisfaction from seeing the results of their efforts as well as gain considerable enjoyment and personal achievement. I am always hearing of how volunteers have developed soft skills linked to well-being, such as confidence and self-esteem, raised aspirations, enhanced social skills and networks.”

Sewa Day 2013 saw over 75,000 volunteers from 25 countries (including Australia, Bosnia, Hong Kong Kenya, Russia, UAE and USA) take part in over 320 projects (UK/ World).

Global corporate partners include BP, Canal & River Trust, Deutsche Bank, Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, PwC & the National Trust amongst many others.

The Sewa Day #IAmTheChange t-shirts are available through project organisers. To register a project, go to: http://www.sewaday.org/wp-login.php? Or Visit http://www.sewaday.org for further information.

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Lopa Patel
Sewa Day
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Sanjay Mistry
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