Socialising makes you live longer - so why not volunteer after retirement?

16 February 2016 

Commenting on the publication of the BMJ Open report which reveals that membership of social groups after retirement is linked to a longer life, Hannah Terrey, Head of Policy and Campaigns at the Charities Aid Foundation, said:

“As well as taking part in social groups such as book clubs or choirs, volunteering can be a great way to improve people’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Voluntary activity plays a vital role in tackling social isolation and loneliness which currently affects a third of the older population.

“Whilst those entering retirement often offer huge support to family and friends, many also wish to stay engaged with wider society and give back to good causes. One in five older people feel they have a skill or talent they would like to use to benefit their community, but do not currently have the opportunity to do so.

“The provision of post-careers advice to give retirees valuable information about volunteering and health and wellbeing benefits could do a huge amount to encourage greater activity in retirement, which would be a real benefit to retirees and the causes they care about.”

Editor’s Notes:

  1. CAF’s 2014 Growing Giving Parliamentary Inquiry made the recommendation for a Post-Careers Advice Service to be created. Its aim is to provide older people with information about how they can use their skills to volunteer and support charities. CAF believes this should be promoted within the notification of receipt of the state pension. The Advice Service should emphasise the benefits derived from volunteering, and provide information about available opportunities for individuals in the local area.
  2. CAF is a global charity which helps people and businesses support the causes they care about, and provides financial services designed for the charitable sector.


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