Volunteers' Voice #2: National Volunteers Week

written by Rob Davies, Volunteer Coordinator.

The year has swung round once again and it is already National Volunteers Week. Every year from 1st – 7th June organisations who work with, involve or are entirely volunteer-run, celebrate all the hard work, dedication, enthusiasm and laughter that volunteers bring.

Volunteer Coordinator Rob Davies gets the opinions of a couple of volunteers
Volunteer Coordinator Rob Davies gets the opinions of a couple of volunteers

I believe it is important to recognise and celebrate volunteers, not only does it show volunteers that we recognise and value them but it also encourages people to continue volunteering. Organisations up and down the country are holding a variety of celebrations for their volunteers, and this year we have opted for a garden party. As the weather is currently providing us with glorious sunshine, I could not resist a garden party and the opportunity to wear my white blazer.

As well as recognising the contribution that volunteers give during this one week of the year, I believe it is important to be constantly thanking volunteers. We also hold a Christmas party and this year we had a choir along with Father Christmas. We also have an annual outing which is always well attended; this year we visited Portsmouth City Museum and the D-Day Museum. Along with these grand gestures we hold tea parties to celebrate the end of projects, provide thank-you and birthday cards, and most importantly we say thank you. There are of course cost implications to these forms of recognition, as during these days of budget slashing it can be difficult and even feel impossible to provide any form of celebration. If you’re looking for a way to fund an event to recognise volunteers here are a few ideas: you could include volunteer celebrations in funding bids that include working with volunteers, visit a free local site for the day, use your organisation as a venue and buy the refreshments only. Think outside of the box, talk to volunteers to see what they would like to do and whatever you do, volunteers will appreciate it.

Our fantastic volunteers in the MERL Garden this week
Our fantastic volunteers in the MERL Garden this week

Volunteers are the life and soul of this country, and without them many services would not be delivered, and millions benefit from people willingly giving their time. Now is your chance to say thank you.

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