Help Yourself

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Research has long reported that helping other people is a great way to improve your own life too. Studies link it to increased happiness, enhanced health and a host of other benefits.

If you’re finding autumn tough, here are a few ways to brighten your days – and other people’s.

Join a Community Allotment

2017-08-18 02.37.55While many community allotments are most active in the summer, gardens still need tending in cooler months.

You can get exercise, enjoy winter veg for free – and soil has antidepressant microbes, so you could get a mood boost too. If you don’t have a community garden near you, offer to help a friend who struggles with their garden instead – or set up a community allotment yourself.

Get Cooking

20170911_215810With food bank use rising, and food waste hitting the headlines, more organisations are springing up to help hungry people get fed.

Put your Bake Off skills to good use by helping out at a community kitchen (Loughborough has the Utilise Cafe at Fearon Hall). If cooking for other people would do them more harm than good, you can always donate non-perishable food instead…

Get Cooperative

2017-08-31 20.52.28From Transition Towns to skill trading networks, co-housing initiatives to cooperative shops, collaborating with other people can help make life easier.

You can get cooperative in big or small ways. If you buy certain products from the Co-op, one percent goes to support community initiatives (and you get five percent back too). Transition Towns have a great guide to creating and developing a more sustainable world through everything from Potato Days to community energy groups. And if the idea of co-housing appeals, tbe UK Co-Housing Network has lots of useful insight. There are so many ways to collaborate with others in mutually beneficial ways that you’re sure to find one to suit you.

Spread Love Not Litter


If you’re into more solitary activity, grab a bin bag and glove, and spread Love Not Litter.

Spending just a few minutes of your day litterpicking could help wildlife and make the world around you that little bit brighter.

There are countless other volunteering opportunities available to suit different skill-sets and abilities. Find a cause that matters to you, and help other people to help yourself.

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