2023 marks the 39th year of Volunteers’ Week, an opportunity to formally thank the incredible volunteers that make a bigger difference across the UK.
Volunteers’ Week is a UK wide annual festival of volunteering which takes place from 1-7 June every year. This special week is a time when volunteering involving organisations are encouraged to celebrate and say a huge thank you to their volunteers.
Volunteers are active in the heart of every UK community. They are behind many of the services we all rely on. The pandemic prompted a great spike in volunteering interest and activity which rightly raised its profile, with more people than ever aware of the immense contribution being made every single day by Britain’s volunteers.
CELEBRATING VOLUNTEERS THIS YEAR
As the nation continues to face other challenges we’re seeing many volunteers strengthen their commitment to supporting one another, improving their communities and taking care of their local environments.
This year Volunteers’ Week is focusing on celebrating the amazing efforts of volunteers and inspiring others to get involved. The campaign will also demonstrate the different ways to volunteer, how people can be the change they want to see through volunteering and shining a light on the importance of diversity in volunteering.
The Game Change Project (TGCP) is a voluntary organisation based on a small holding near Newtown, Powys, Mid Wales. They support young people to raise their aspirations, build confidence and improve wellbeing by taking part in fun and engaging outdoor activities.
19-year-old Ryan was referred to the project over three years ago after suffering with anxiety which was preventing him from going to school. Since volunteering with TGCP his confidence has grown from being in a supportive environment with other like-minded young people.
Speaking of how volunteering has impacted his life, Ryan said:
‘The Game Change Project has, without a doubt changed my life and improved my skills so that I can go to college – something I would not have thought possible before.’
SPAN Arts is a vibrant community arts charity based in Narberth, with a 30-year history of bringing the arts to rural Pembrokeshire. SPAN is driven by the core belief that the arts have the power to improve people’s lives and acts as an agent for Arts as Social Change in West Wales. Alexandra, one of the volunteers at SPAN who moved from Italy to Wales has found volunteering with the organisation has helped her to feel part of a community.
Speaking of how being a volunteer has helped her, Alexandra said:
‘Volunteering allowed me to make new friends and be part of the community. Being a gay woman and from Italy I wanted to feel a sense of belonging in my local town especially after lockdown barred me from mixing with people. The arts was a good way to meet lots of different people from all kinds of backgrounds.’
THE WELSH CHARITY AWARDS
Volunteers do what they do to help their community, not for reward of recognition but Volunteers’ Week and the Welsh Charity Awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the amazing things they achieve. We’re encouraging organisations and individuals to nominate their volunteers in the Volunteer of the Year and Young Volunteer of the Year categories for the Welsh Charity Awards 2023. This is a great way of showing incredible volunteers across our country how much their efforts are appreciated.
The awards are open for nominations now until 26 June 2023, find out more at welshcharityawards.cymru.