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Recruitment drive for helping hands as Volunteers’ Week celebrates 40 years

A volunteer fair (and a nice cuppa) at Boston Tea Party on Tuesday was just one of the events held as part of Volunteers’ Week, which runs until Sunday, 9th June.

The national initiative has been going 40 years, and is a chance to recognise, celebrate and thank the incredible volunteers for all they contribute to local communities, the voluntary sector, and society as a whole.

Gill Cleeve is the volunteer coordinator for VASA in Stratford, she said: “We have thousands of volunteers who selflessness give up their time for so many of our incredible local organisations and charities.

“Volunteering can offer numerous benefits that can positively impact individuals and communities including: enhanced well-being and mental health, skill development, physical health, increased self-esteem and confidence, it can expanded your social network and increased community engagement and social cohesion.”

The Volunteers’ Week Fair at Boston Tea Party on Tuesday. Photo: Mark Williamson
The Volunteers’ Week Fair at Boston Tea Party on Tuesday. Photo: Mark Williamson

On Tuesday’s fair, organised by Karen Minors of Warwickshire Community And Voluntary Action Rugby, there were stalls from volunteer transport group VASA, Escape Arts, Lifespace Trust, Warwickshire Rural Community Council (WRCC), Parenting Project, Shakespeare Hospice, Net Zero, Compton Verney, Scouts, Girlguiding, Warwickshire Vision, Stratford Town Trust and The Fred Winter Centre.

Although volunteering took an upturn during the pandemic, there is now a shortage of volunteers.

Gill said: “At VASA, which offers Community Transport, and Dementia Day Services, we rely heavily on our volunteers, they are the backbone of our organisation and we are immensely grateful to them for their dedication, hard work, and unwavering support. Their contributions make a significant impact on our community, taking people to medical appointments, answering calls from the passengers and supporting loved ones with dementia, but the demand is growing on a daily basis, so we are always looking for more volunteers, as are all our local organisations.

“Volunteers are the backbone of our community, and volunteerism reflects the true spirit of compassion and solidarity. They are the driving force behind positive change and for making our community a wonderful place to live.”

Find out more about volunteering at https://www.vasa.org.uk/

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