Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Time to celebrate volunteers

Written by James Jacobs, Communications Apprentice at Nottingham CVS, a Full member organisation of One East Midlands

Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK – it’s taking place from the 1-7 June 2013.
This year’s Volunteers’ Week will focus on saying ‘Thank You’ to the millions of volunteers who regularly contribute to society, and will recognise the way that organisations celebrate the work of volunteers across the UK.
Volunteers come in many shapes and sizes: Some are young, some are old. Some help befriending someone who has a serious disability; some help in running a grand stately home that might otherwise fall into disrepair.

However, what binds all volunteers is their commitment to being an active citizen who helps others. After all, you don’t volunteer for any financial gain!

That being said, volunteering is a major contributor to the UK economy. In a typical year, over 20 million people volunteer. They donate more than 100 million hours to their communities every week. It has been estimated that the economic value of this activity is worth in excess of £40 billion to our economy.

Of course, volunteering takes many different forms – sometimes people may not think of themselves as volunteers but they are. I, for instance, have recently volunteered to help organise an annual ‘Oxjam’ event in my home town, Beeston – it’s a day of music and fundraising during the summer.

The NHS is one of the many organisations that rely on volunteers, whether it’s helping run a group for young mothers or helping at a hospital cafeteria. When we visit hospital, the chances are that you’ll have met a volunteer at some stage.

You could be involved in one of the many Scout or Guide groups across the East Midlands. Or, for that matter, be a school governor or helping to run a City Farm in Leicester or Nottingham. In fact, the different forms volunteering takes are too numerous to mention.

However, recognition for this selfless service can often go unnoticed, especially by those in the media. We can all remember the praise - rightly given - to those taking part in the running of the Olympics last year. But how much have we heard  since then to sing the praises of our volunteers around the East Midlands? Well, this Volunteers’ Week is a chance to redress that balance – it’s a chance to congratulate, celebrate and trumpet the fantastic work that so many volunteers do in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire…and Rutland!

Big cheers to you all and keep up the fantastic work

No comments:

Post a Comment