More thro’ selfless – What you need to know about Leeds’ volunteers

More thro’ selfless – What you need to know about Leeds’ volunteers

Unpaid work can make you happier.

Not a fact, admittedly, but I get many of my kicks off volunteering.

In Leeds, I’m in very good company.  To me, it’s truly a volunteering city.

One example – from many I’d hazard – is illustrated by Leeds City Council staff.

Selfless means more with this council crew.

Voluntary work-wise they do loads. In volume, in variety.

And these aces go places. Leeds City Council volunteers go beyond the city, into the region and beyond.

How far? In their time, this council crew puts volunteering in vogue WORLDWIDE.


Why tell you this?

Well, we’ve launched iVolunteerLeeds, chronicling what extraordinary folk do outside of the workplace.


Why show you this?

As you’re reading this, I’d imagine it’s worth a few minutes of your time.

That small spell hopefully captivates you into understanding the magic around volunteering.

It was certainly worth my time helping put it together, on two counts.

Firstly, I didn’t expect I’d be using a map of the world to illustrate Leeds’ globe-straddling reach.

More importantly, there’s also what volunteers get in return.

Time and again I’ve had to coax selfless, self-publicity swerving people into telling their tales.

And guess what? In most cases each volunteer has played down their role by stressing the rewards.  Not in terms of money – but wellbeing, satisfaction.

In short, feeling good.

Fortunately, I’m much more of a big-head than most.

I do it – helping Down syndrome advocates with design work – because it is enjoyable. Enormously enjoyable.

The most recent vivid example I can give is this bits’n’bobs done for Christmas.

If this Advent calendar of West Yorkshire’s finest doesn’t ram home the message, try this for size:


Volunteers help

Do great things

A wonderful feeling for

A cold, dark January day.


If you’re in Leeds, take a peek at

After that, have a think about what you can do yourself.

For those needing a nudge, why not contact the likes of Voluntary Action Leeds and Leeds Ambassadors – many other equally great alternatives are available – for what can be done.

It could make you happier.


Mark Travis,

Volunteer, council staffer, freelancer



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