Winner of The ‘Celebrating Volunteering’ Competition 2024

Volunteers’ Week is a national campaign that celebrates the contributions volunteers make to communities across the UK and it’s a great opportunity to say thanks to all those amazing volunteers and recognise their contributions in Kensington & Chelsea!

Each year, it starts on the first Monday of June, and this year is a special occasion as it’s celebrating its 40th birthday. So although Volunteer Centre Kensington and Chelsea is a little older (55 this year), we are delighted to be able to celebrate along with our slightly younger Sister! 

For this year’s Volunteers’ Week anniversary celebration, we wanted to do something special to show our appreciation for volunteers. So we hosted a ‘Celebrating Volunteering’ Competition,  where we asked for photos and stories that capture the spirit of volunteering over the past year.

We got some amazing entries and we would like to thank everyone who entered. Looking through them, we found photos and stories that perfectly encapsulated the positive energy and connection that volunteering brings to people’s lives. It was a wide range of rewarding volunteering in action, from assisting at food banks and co-ordinating book clubs to providing free medical care in Nigeria!

Cllr Sarah Addenbrooke, Lead Member for Communities & Community Safety & Councillor for Abingdon Ward, kindly judged the competition. And the winner is: Keerat Sandhu, who perfectly captured his experience as a first-time volunteer with Pepper Pot Centre. He wins a £50 gift card to One4All!

Here is what Keerat had to say: “Volunteering at the Pepper Pot Centre during Christmas changed my life and helped many older people. It was my first time volunteering in London, through the VTeam at the University of West London. When I welcomed guests, helped prepare and serve Christmas dinner, and joined in with raffles, games, and music, I saw how happy it made the elders from the Caribbean and African community.

This experience opened my eyes to how lonely many older people feel and how much our time and care can help them. Seeing their smiles and hearing their stories made me realise the importance of volunteering. Because of this, I continued to volunteer more often, and I even won the Volunteering Spirit Award.

The Pepper Pot Centre not only gave a joyful Christmas to its guests but also taught me how valuable community service is. It showed me that simple acts of kindness can make a big difference in fighting loneliness and improving people’s lives.”

The two runner-ups in this years competition are Westway Community Transport’s volunteer Tim and Al Hasaniya’s Book Club volunteers!

Thank you to all who participated in the competition and helped spread the word to celebrate volunteers. Let’s continue the celebration during Volunteers’ Week!