In this year’s Volunteers’ Week, we would also like to focus on some of our amazing organisations across West Lancashire, who rely upon volunteers to continue the vital work they do for the community – not just in these unprecedented times but year after year.
Each year we hold an annual volunteer awards evening in partnership with West Lancs Borough Council and this event provides a great opportunity for organisations to thank their volunteers. As this is currently not possible, we would like to share some quotes from some of our member organisations about the massive impact that volunteers have on their day to day work.
Our first organisation is Home-Start – a local community network of trained volunteers and expert support helping families with young children through their challenging times. Homestart says:
‘Volunteers provide friendship, mentoring, solutions and support to families and are often there when no one else is. They are the backbone of our family support service and a lifeline for families.’
Tanhouse Morris Dancers has been running in Skelmersdale for 50 years, a major achievement in itself!. Angela Eadie says
‘Volunteers are our lifeblood – we would not run without them as a non-profit group. Thank you to them all! Most of our volunteers are dancers, ex dancers or relatives. As a volunteer myself, seeing the dancers thrive is a huge reward’.
West Lancs Ark offers a free advice and advocacy service to members of the community who maybe homeless, unemployed,ex-offenders or substance misusers. West Lancs Ark says:
‘It’s hard to find the words to explain how much we value our volunteers. They work hard, give their time, energy and skills to support both us as an organisation and our service users. Thank you in not enough!’
Not only do volunteers provide massive help to the organisations they volunteer with, they also get a lot out of the experience personally. Debbie is one of our CVS volunteers working with the Social Prescribing Service. She says:
‘Volunteering has brought a new dimension to my life. After leaving my paid job, I felt detached and a bit useless as I like to be involved and interact with people. Volunteering here has brought purpose back to my life. I feel I can make a small contribution and that’s all we can do – one phone call may seem like a drop in the ocean but the ocean is made up of many drops of water….’
Finally, a volunteer at local advice organisation SWILCAN echoes Debbie’s thoughts about volunteering:
‘Volunteering for an organisation like SWLICAN allows me to ensure anyone in a similar situation to myself never has to go through the isolation, fear and hopelessness you feel when trying to navigate the welfare system we are faced with.
This has morphed somewhat over the years to being an integral part of who I am. The small contribution I make has allowed me to grow as a human, to feel better about myself and to know I am making a difference – something I would never have achieved if I had not taken the plunge and made volunteering a large part of my life’
To all volunteers past, present and future – we THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts!
And don’t forget that if you are a volunteer involving organisation and you would like some support with actively recruiting new volunteers, we have a fully accredited Volunteer Centre that can support you.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or see our website: http://www.wlcvs.org/homepage/services/volunteering/