This week marks Volunteers’ Week, which focuses on saying ‘Thank You’ to the millions of volunteers who regularly contribute to society, and to recognise the way that organisations celebrate the work of volunteers across the UK. Organisations will be taking the opportunity to recognise the contribution of their volunteers through holding awards ceremonies, recruitment fairs, celebration events, training opportunities and volunteer taster sessions.
Every year, over 20 million people across England and the UK volunteer, donating more than 100 million hours to their communities every week. It has been estimated that the economic value of this activity is worth in excess of £40 billion to our economy. Services and initiatives that are vital to the running of our country simply wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for volunteers.
However, volunteering has an even greater value than ensuring our essential community services function and national events are a success. Every year, millions of people help others in all sorts of ways, most of which they probably wouldn’t even think of as volunteering. This makes a crucial contribution to binding our communities, building cooperation and trust between individuals, and helping to make our communities better places to live and work.
Speaking about Volunteers’ Week 2013, Tracey said:
“As someone who volunteers as a Football Manager for local Meridian Girls Football team, I fully recognises the value of volunteers elsewhere in all the sports clubs across Chatham and Aylesford. Most sports groups within the constituency would not survive without the continued support from volunteers and it is therefore a great pleasure to be supporting the 2013 Volunteers Week.
The recent 2012 Olympics showed us just how much of a difference volunteers can make, not just to the sporting industry but across every sector.
I would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank all those volunteers in Chatham and Aylesford for their continued hard work, commitment and generosity in helping others within the community.”
Justin Davis Smith, director of volunteering at NCVO said:
“Volunteers’ Week is a fabulous opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate volunteers and the incredible contribution they make to our communities. Volunteers are an integral part of our society, and without their dedication, energy and commitment, many of the services we take for granted would simply grind to a halt.
‘But the magic of volunteering is that it is a two-way relationship. So alongside the contribution to our local communities, volunteers also benefit tremendously from the experience – learning new skills, getting back into paid work, improving physical or mental well-being, or simply meeting interesting people and having fun.
‘Please join us in saying thank you to the volunteers who make our society a better place, and in highlighting the many different ways that people can get involved.”
Find out more, including what events are taking place in Chatham & Aylesford here.