Volunteers share their own stories

Published on 28th May 2015

Hands together in a group

Local volunteers are sharing stories about their work in the community as part of National Volunteers Week.

The awareness week, which runs from 1 to 7 June, will be extended to the whole month of June in recognition of the benefits that volunteering brings to Cheltenham.

Cheltenham Partnership – which represents the voluntary, community public and private sector – will publish a case study every day during June to promote the good work of the volunteers.  There are also a number of activities planned by organisations to celebrate their volunteers. 

Barbara Driver is a volunteer trustee at Cheltenham Open Door, which supports vulnerable, disadvantaged and lonely people and works to relieve poverty, hardship and social or emotional distress.  As someone who is retired with some time to give, and having supported Open Door for many years, Barbara was delighted to be asked to be a trustee. 

Barbara said:  ‘’It makes me feel good to help those who, for whatever reason, need that little extra care in life. I also support other trustees if and when needed.’’

Councillor Rowena Hay, cabinet member for healthy lifestyles said: ‘’Volunteering can bring great benefits to the individual such as new skills, increased confidence and a sense of fulfilment.  Volunteers are also crucial to organisations, as they can add to their skill set and productivity.’’

A special day full of entertainment, showcasing more than twenty charities will be hosted on 20 June at Cambray Place.  People will be able to find out more about volunteering opportunities at the event and they can also contact Helen Down from Cheltenham Partnership on 01242 774960 or email helen.down@www.cheltenham.gov.uk

 


Photo opportunities are available at a number of local events which are coming up throughout June, please contact Katie Sandey.

For press enquiries and photo calls contact: Katie Sandey, communications team leader, 01242 775050, katie.sandey@www.cheltenham.gov.uk

Notes

The aims of the month are:

*  To raise awareness of the benefits that volunteering brings to organisations across Cheltenham,
*  To promote the benefits of volunteering,
*  To celebrate the contribution that volunteers make,
*  To raise awareness of volunteering and the different ways that people can find out about and access opportunities. 

What is volunteering?

In its broadest sense, volunteering can be defined as an unpaid contribution to serve others and ultimately build an inclusive environment for everyone. Volunteers commit time and energy for the benefit of other people. The contribution they make is of huge value and makes a real difference to individuals, the community and society in general.

The Community Life Survey (a major survey of adults in England, which informs official statistics) showed that in 2013-14, 48% of people took part in formal or informal volunteering at least once a month in the 12 months before they were interviewed. 74% of people had volunteered at least once in 12 months, either formally or informally.

Read case studies and find out more

To find out more and to read daily case studies throughout June, visit Cheltenham Partnership

For people wanting to volunteer, or for organisations who would like the support of a volunteer, local details can also be found at:

Volunteering Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire Association for Voluntary and Community Action
Glosjobs
Fair Shares