In case you missed it, this week (1-7th June 2018) has been Volunteers’ Week.

Now in its 34th year, this annual campaign sees charities and voluntary groups come together to recognise the contribution volunteers make to our communities every day.

Karl Wilding, director of public policy and volunteering at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, which coordinates Volunteers’ Week in England, said:

‘Volunteers’ Week gives charities’ and voluntary organisations the perfect opportunity to thank every one of the fantastic volunteers they work with. It is a chance to recognise that however volunteers give their time or skills, their contribution makes a huge difference to their community.

‘This Volunteers’ Week we are championing volunteering for all. We want to make the point that whoever you are and whatever your background, skills or experience, there’s a volunteering role for you.’

Why it’s important: Volunteering makes all the difference

Volunteering charity The Royal Voluntary Service has released findings from their research into the difference volunteers made to the lives of those they support. The findings say it all, volunteers make a huge difference.

2,000 older people were questioned as part of this research and this is what they said receiving support and interaction from volunteers does for them:

  • 82% feel healthier, physically and emotionally
  • 70% feel more able to cope with challenges or difficulties that come up in day to day life
  • 68% have more social contact and spend more time with people
  • 62% feel more connected to the community

So what can you do?

Volunteers week may be coming to a close for this year, but that doesn’t mean the volunteering has to stop! There’s no time limit on volunteering and there are plenty of ways you can get involved. The Volunteers’ Week Website lists events and activities that are happening, you can contact your local volunteer centre to see what options there are close to home and offer a great, searchable volunteering database.