Reaching retirement is a wonderful time in most people's lives. It's a time where you can cast off the daily routine of the 9 to 5 and relax, living out your golden years as actively and independently as you like.

However, after a life of working hard, there may be times where you feel you aren't contributing enough to society, or doing good in the community. Luckily, Newcastle has plenty of volunteering options available for you to give back to your fellow locals.

Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald House is an organisation located next to the John Hunter Children's Hospital in Newcastle that provides children with a "home away from home" while they undergo treatment. The building first opened in 1991, and has since seen 1,000 families come through its doors with children who have serious or life-threatening conditions. Thanks to the staff at the House, what would normally be a traumatic and miserable time for a child and his or her family can be a shared journey with other families going through the same thing.

This service is provided in large part by volunteer staff, who the Ronald McDonald website calls "the Heart of the House." Volunteers are community members of all ages who help support the organisation in a variety of roles, such as reception, overnight supervision, providing visitors with tours and general assistance. 

Newcastle Landcare

If you love the environment, enjoy seeing a clean, tidy and well-kept city and want to get outside and meet new people, volunteering for the Hunter Region Landcare Network might be for you.

This network seeks to improve the natural environment of its namesake region, and works in conjunction with the City of Newcastle to find volunteers willing to participate. There are a number of active groups around the city who meet generally in the morning (most likely around 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.).

You can join one of these fantastic groups to assist restoring Newcastle's beautiful land and water resources, and to help keep it clean and beautiful for your children and grandchildren. 

The Network provides you with any training you'll need, as well as the tools necessary to complete the work. At the end of each year there is also a barbecue celebration to award hard work and celebrate achievement.

Volunteering for this type of environmental care is a great way to get your fingers green and meet new people. It'll keep you both physically and socially active, benefiting your own health, as well as doing good for the city – benefiting the community's health.

Want to do some good? Here's where to volunteer in Newcastle