Happy Volunteers’ Week All!
Volunteers’ Week takes place from 1-7 June every year. It’s an opportunity to recognise the contribution volunteers make, and to say ‘thank you!’ This year the national focus is on making this a time to ‘celebrate and inspire’.
In my role as Operations Manager at Volunteer Centre Kensington & Chelsea, I regularly hear inspirational stories about volunteering locally. Volunteers are at the heart of so much that happens in Kensington and Chelsea. So many people give up their time in our borough to volunteer – from assisting in food banks to advice provision; from gardening to being a trustee; from helping with admin to coordinating events. Volunteers continue to make a huge difference to the local community and to local people. And that is something to celebrate!
I came into contact with Volunteers’ Week for the first over 20 years ago, when I managed the Volunteer Centre in Bristol. Then, some years later, I worked in the Volunteering Development team at NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations). So it is true to say I am a little biased and Volunteers’ Week does hold a very special place in my heart!
As well as benefiting the causes and organisations that individuals volunteer with, often the stories I hear are about how volunteering has also benefited the volunteers themselves. I have heard how it has helped improve wellbeing, gives people purpose, has helped reduce isolation, has enabled people to get into paid employment, and has so often been the source of a lot of fun. I’m proud that in many cases Volunteer Centre Kensington & Chelsea enabled local volunteer-involving organisations to facilitate these great experiences, by supporting them to ensure their volunteer placements are accessible, inclusive and safe. We are here by phone, by email, or in person at Thorpe Close, for volunteers and those who want to offer volunteers’ opportunities.
So this week let’s take the time to recognise just how important volunteers are locally, and celebrate the huge diversity of volunteering that goes on in Kensington and Chelsea and the positive impact it has on our community.
I would love to hear your volunteering stories this week – so please do get in touch: tell us why you are celebrating and help us to be further inspired!
More information about Volunteers’ Week, along with lots of useful resources can be found here: Volunteer’sWeek.org
Follow us on social media as we celebrate and share your own stories with the hashtag #vckcvolunteersweek!
Liz Woodman, Operations Manager