Volunteers' Week takes place 1-7 June every year. Volunteers are an important part of every UK community. People from all walks of life take time to volunteer and make a huge difference to their communities. Volunteer’s Week is the perfect time to recognise the fantastic contribution from our PEMCO team in supporting our local community this year. Volunteering in our local community We use the Five Ways to Wellbeing1 as a framework to inform our Wellbeing Strategy at PEMCO. The five ways are made up of Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give. Over the course of each year, we make sure we action initiatives across all five of the ‘Ways'. As part of the ‘Give’ element of our Wellbeing Strategy, we decided to focus on giving to our local community in Starbeck. We approached Starbeck in Bloom, a local charity, to find out what we could volunteer to do for them. We have a long history of supporting Starbeck in Bloom – we store some of their equipment, we built and maintain their website, we make an annual donation, and we provide water for their plants. But we wanted to do more, so when the team at Starbeck in Bloom told us about some tree cages on the high street that needed painting we jumped at the chance to get involved! Why giving is important It’s pretty obvious that giving is good for others, but did you know giving is good for the volunteers too? Whilst painting we had many passers-by say ‘thank you’ in person, and there have been some lovely follow-up comments from the local community thanking us on social media too. "Thank you very much to the lovely volunteers from local business Pemco, who have made a great job of painting the tree cages outside The Office Ale House." It was great to hear that what we were doing mattered to others, and it made us feel good. Studies show there is actually a chemical response in the body when we help others. The body secretes ‘feel good’ chemicals such as Serotonin (which regulates mood), Dopamine (which gives us a sense of pleasure) and Oxytocin (which creates a sense of connection with others). This ‘helper’s high’ can boost self-esteem, happiness and sense of purpose. Interested in volunteering? As well as helping others, volunteering has been shown to improve volunteers' wellbeing too. We naturally feel good after helping someone out. Volunteering can also help us gain valuable new skills and experiences and boost our confidence. To find out more about volunteering in England, visit volunteersweek.org. #VolunteersWeek 1 The Five Ways to Wellbeing are a set of evidence-based public mental health messages aimed at improving the mental health and wellbeing of the whole population. They were developed by the New Economics Foundation as the result of a commission by Foresight, the UK government’s futures think-tank, as part of the Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing. The five ways are made up of Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give.