As part of the national celebrations to mark Volunteers Week 2019 (1-7 June 2019), Warwickshire County Council held a celebratory event and community showcase to celebrate and say thank you to its many volunteers for the fantastic and invaluable contribution they make to support its services and local communities.
The event, which took place at Ambleside Sports Club in Nuneaton, was chaired by Rob Powell, Warwickshire County Council’s Strategic Director – Resources, and attended by 120 volunteers from all around Warwickshire. During the event, there were performances from some of the groups who had benefited from the Councillor Grant Fund Scheme, including a group community sing-along, some street dancing, a Bollywood performance and a rap session.
The Council is very fortunate to benefit from the support of around 3,000 volunteers who give their time and dedication to support a range of services it provides, which include:
- School governors
- Children and family support
- Youth justice
- Environmental services
- Countryside and ecology
- Fire & Rescue
- Museums and county record office
- Social care services
Based on recent figures, it is known that almost 46% of the population of Warwickshire aged over 16 have volunteered in the last 12 months. This means that an estimated 191,000 adults in Warwickshire are regularly volunteering, giving around 91,000 hours each week and the economic value of this volunteering is approximately £80.2 million per year to the County.
People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons – for some, it offers the chance to give something back to their community or make a difference to the people around them; for others, it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge. Regardless of the motivation, what unites all volunteers is that they find it both a challenging and rewarding use of their spare time.
Jenny Volunteers for Warwickshire as a care Champion, she said: “I’ve learned a lot since I started volunteering as a Care Champion, like about nutrition and hydration and how to ask good questions about how care homes help people stay healthy. I’ve learned about health and safety in homes, about speaking up and about what’s important to people, like having friends and good, exciting activities to do.”
Cllr Heather Timms, Portfolio Holder – Environment and Heritage & Culture, said:
“The Quality of life in Warwickshire is greatly enhanced by the contribution of these volunteers. By supporting residents’ wellbeing, boosting economic prosperity and enhancing our communities, volunteers make a huge contribution to making our county the best it can be and a wonderful place to live, work and visit.”
For more information about volunteering in Warwickshire, please visit https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/jobs-volunteering
Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action (WCAVA) Network also run a volunteer matching service, which you can find here: https://www.wcava.org.uk/volunteering-individuals