As National Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) approaches, it’s time to think about the wonderful people that give their time and skills to help others.
‘Volunteering’ has come a long way since the word voluntaire was first recorded c.1600 to refer to “one who offers himself for military service”! Today volunteering covers a plethora of possible activities within formal volunteering programmes, charity governance and social and community action. Opportunities to volunteer are as diverse as the various organisations needing support and, whilst the current global pandemic restricts some volunteering activities, new opportunities for ‘virtual volunteering’ are opening up.
Volunteers provide an incredible additional resource for the organisations they support, but there are significant benefits for volunteers too. Developing confidence, gaining experience and learning new skills are all tangible benefits, as are meeting new people, being part of a community, making a difference and even having fun!
With so much to gain it’s no wonder people see volunteering as a positive and rewarding way to give something back. So much so, that the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), found that formal volunteering in the UK in 2016 was valued at £23.9bn. That’s a huge amount of time and dedication our amazing volunteering community is giving for free to individuals, causes and organisations across the UK. More locally, the Taking Account 4 Report, conducted by Community Works in 2019, found that 51% of adults in Brighton and Hove had volunteered their time in the previous year. Wow!
So to all the volunteers who devote time, effort and skills we thank you, your dedication is appreciated. Keep up the great work!
If you are interested in local volunteering opportunities click here.
For more information about Volunteers’ Week and a way to show your support for the voluntary community see link below.