Volunteers' Week Was This Week
DID YOU KNOW?
Probably not because it wasn’t the best marketed week that I have ever heard of, but the whole point of it was to celebrate “the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK” and as an annual event to thank all the volunteers who help people every day and contribute to society right across the UK.
You may not know, but across the whole of the UK, over 20 million people donate more than 100 million hours to their communities every week; that’s in total, not individually! To put it another way, it is estimated that “the economic value of this activity is worth in excess of £40 billion to our economy”.
Obviously there are those services that are indispensable and vital to the running of our country; by this we are talking volunteers that do work in the under-valued NHS, the Coastguard Rescue Service (a total of around 3,500 volunteers in England and Wales), Natural England (2,200 volunteer wardens), the judiciary (30,000 volunteer magistrates in England and Wales) and the police (over 15,000 Special Constables).
But then there are many other ways of volunteering services and help that bring greater value to local communities, often in a way that may not be considered a job but 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.”
And this is where you come in.
The odds on you, the reader, being a driver are pretty good so the use of your motor for volunteering purposes could well be your foot in the door of the voluntary sector – and it doesn’t even have to be something that you shout from the rooftops about.
It could be something as simple as giving someone a lift to and from the shops when they are incapable of doing it themselves or are forced to use either public transport of taxis – think the old lady a couple of doors down that you see struggling with a couple of plastic bags full of tins from Asda.
It could be offering to drive a school bus for the local school or transport for the local day centre that does “such a good job” with the underprivileged, incapacitated and unfortunates of society.
It could be offering to help pick up goods or deliver materials for charities around the region that you live in.
It could even be simply washing a neighbour's car whilst you are washing yours.
It’s all a point of thinking how you can help – even once a month or on the odd occasion.
Helping will make you feel good. Trust me!