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Celebration and Inspiration for Volunteers’ Week

Celebration and Inspiration for Volunteers’ Week

The week of celebration is a time to say a special thank you to all the volunteers across Harrogate district for their dedication and the positive difference they make.

Volunteering really is a big deal and the impact nationally is astounding. A few years back, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) valued the ‘output’ of regular formal volunteers at £23.9bn. Just before that, Volunteering England put the ‘output’ figure for all (formal and informal) volunteering at £45.1bn.

Whether they call themselves volunteers or not, everyone who gives even a little of their time is making a big difference improving lives and helping those who are struggling to cope with life’s challenges.

Here at HARCVS we are keenly aware of the vital role of volunteers in our own team. We have 19 staff, and all bar one of us work part time. We have 110 volunteers who contribute approximately 270 hrs per week of their time to help us achieve our mission, which is to make the Harrogate District a great place to live and work. Every week they are quietly making a difference in our communities, whether it’s getting people to medical appointments, visiting those needing some company at home, helping tidy up gardens and making homes more comfortable and safer, or helping in the office. Simply put, we could not manage without them, and neither could anywhere else in the country.

Volunteers Week is about celebrating and thanking all these wonderful volunteers. We were delighted to welcome the new Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor Stuart Martin and his wife April to Harrogate Community House to meet some of our volunteers and present them with certificates of thanks. They are invariably embarrassed at being put in the spotlight and so modest about their contributions. The occasion is also a chance to chat to people and find out why they volunteer. “Just wanting to give something back” is a common theme.  

We also held one of our regular Volunteer Managers Network meetings during the  week, attended by an ever enthusiastic group of colleagues who between them look after hundreds of volunteers who drive cars and trains, take people out and about, provide companionship, information and education and make and bake and grow lovely things. Amongst the ways they were thanking volunteers were social events including barbeques and fish and chip suppers, chocolates, cards and steam train rides! All very good reasons to get involved!