11 Dec 2017

As we approach the darkest time of the year and plan for winter festivities with colleagues, families and friends it’s good to cast a memory back to the summer and the many celebrations of volunteering that took place in Volunteers’ Week, June 1- 7. Here is a round-up of some of the things that Volunteer Centres around Wales got involved with.

Volunteer centre staff were out on streets to promote volunteering in different locations including libraries, supermarkets, farmers markets and events. In Denbighshire, public services partners such as the Health Board, County Council and Fire Service joined in celebrating the Week. 

Medrwn Môn celebrated its 15th birthday and arranged for Rhun ap Iorwerth AM and Albert Owen MP to volunteer at Digartref Ynys Môn Lighthouse Day Centre project and at Llangefni Hospice at Home charity shop and Holyhead Tenovus charity shop, respectively. Rhun ap Iorwerth AM said: 

"Whilst helping out in the kitchen I experienced the incredible work these volunteers do in providing amenities for the homeless and I applaud their commitment and dedication". 

It is good to have support from our elected members in this way, in raising the profile of volunteering in their areas. 

Many volunteer centres hold award ceremonies during the Week. It means a lot to volunteers, who often do not realise what an important contribution they are making to their communities. An award winner from Neath Port Talbot said: 

"I really don't think I have done anything special. I feel I have benefitted and I really enjoyed the whole experience. It is quite humbling to see so many people giving their time, there are lots of good people in the world which we don't hear enough about".  (Award winner, NPT) 

Michael Sheen, WCVA President, presented certificates in Merthyr at an event attended by 23 groups and 120 individuals. In Flintshire, 150 participants at the annual VolFest enjoyed presentations, live music and a tour of the local theatre. The event was filmed and incorporated into a video about the importance of volunteering and its potential to increase wellbeing. 
Powys volunteering bus travelled the county, visiting 15 locations and covering 450 miles in 5 days; volunteers were presented with bags and goodies to recognise their contributions. 
GAVO (Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations) highlighted volunteer achievements on its 'Shout about it' section of the website and SCVS exhibited photos of volunteers in their roles, taken by a photography student. 

We are always pleased to have your photos (with permission to use them), and news of what volunteers are doing. Send your stories to Nicola at nnicholls@wcva.org.uk.