Volunteers’ Week is an annual opportunity to celebrate volunteers all across the UK. Research from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) shows that over 21 million people volunteer in the UK at least once a year, contributing an estimated £22.6bn to the UK economy. This is a huge achievement and we want to use this week to recognise the contributions that Time Credits volunteers make all across England and Wales.
Volunteering is an integral part of the Time Credits model; individuals earn Time Credits through volunteering their time. This could be through existing volunteer opportunities provided by local community groups and charities, through facilitating peer support groups, contributing to tenants’ associations or participating in community activities coordinated by the local authority. In our recently launched 2017 impact report, we featured the story of Sarah, a Time Credits volunteer who first got involved with Time Credits through applying glitter tattoos at a community event!
Making a difference: What Time Credits volunteers told us
As part of our Time Credits evaluation, many people told us how much volunteering made a difference to their own lives. This could be in terms of feeling more connected to their community, or feeling valued for having something to give, or learning new skills!
“I volunteer because I love giving, I love helping out where help is needed and endeavour to use my skills to help others.”
From our partners and community groups, we also heard how volunteers made a difference to the sustainability of local initiatives, as well as improving energy and enthusiasm.
“We volunteer for a small local charity – it [Time Credits] is helping more volunteers to get involved and is very beneficial. The new volunteers really enjoy helping run some of the activities and it has given them confidence.”
Over the course of this week, we’ll be sharing more of these messages across our social media channels, but we’re keen to hear from new voices as well. Get in touch via Twitter, Facebook or just send us an email, and tell us the difference that volunteering has made to your life, or how Time Credits volunteers have made a difference to your charity or community organisation…
If you want to get involved with Volunteers’ Week, either by hosting an event with your volunteers or supporting the week’s campaign over social media, then look up the NCVO’s Volunteers’ Week resource pack. You can also find out about any events taking place during the week that are already planned for your area.