Volunteers have always been the lifeblood of our communities in Wales, with one in three people typically volunteering at any one time.
Volunteering in Wales has been particularly visible over the past few years as people from all ages, stages and backgrounds have stepped forward to offer their time to others, whether that’s by supporting those affected by devastating weather events, the pandemic, or volunteering to campaign on issues that affect the environment or society.
In the past 12 months, WCVA has shared stories of inspiring volunteers and volunteering projects in Wales, such as artistic volunteers enabling meaningful conversations in care homes, the Mr X appeal that provides gifts to children at Christmas, and the huge amount of volunteering that often goes under the radar in the community.
The individuals in these examples give their time freely and it’s important to recognise the contribution that volunteers make. This is why we are keen to encourage communities as well as voluntary, public and private organisations to come together to celebrate volunteers across the length and breadth of Wales during Volunteers’ Week 2023.
WHAT IS VOLUNTEERS’ WEEK?
National Volunteers’ Week is an annual UK wide celebration of volunteers taking place each year between 1 – 7 June.
This year marks 39 years of recognising volunteers during this special week in June.
The overarching focus agreed by UK partners for Volunteers’ Week 2023 will be ‘Celebrate and inspire’.
We are encouraging a focus for this year on some of the aspects that we want to celebrate about volunteering across the UK. These are:
- Our diversity is our strength
- There’s more than one way of volunteering
- Being the change we want to see
THE #IWILL MOVEMENT & #MONTHOFCOMMUNITY?
In partnership with the #iwill movement, 6 June will focus on the #PowerofYouth in volunteering.
Volunteers’ Week also takes place during the campaign #MonthofCommunity, which helps to connect volunteering to the wider activities that occur in our communities across the nation.
The Month of Community is a time to come together to celebrate everything that makes our communities great. The month kicks off with Volunteers’ Week, and is followed by many other community focused campaigns, such as Small Charity Week (19 – 23 June), Refugee Week (19 – 25 June) and National Picnic Week (17 – 25 June).
The Eden Project, in collaboration with UK partners are encouraging individuals, communities and organisations across the UK to connect with one another, to recognise, celebrate and take part in the #MonthofCommunity. One of the options is to host a Big Lunch, which can be held at any time during the Month of Community.
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?
Visit the Volunteers’ Week website to find resources and ideas for taking part in Volunteers’ Week 2023.
Here are some resources for organisations working in Wales:
- Overview of Volunteers’ Week 2023
- Volunteers’ Week 2023 – How to get involved on social media
- What is Volunteers’ Week
- Writing your own news item
- Social media graphics
You will be encouraged to celebrate volunteers and to inspire others to get involved in the ways that make the most sense to you.
- If you are a community leader, you may organise a local event to celebrate local volunteers.
- Schools, colleges, universities and workplaces could shine a spotlight on students or staff who volunteer and inspire others to get involved.
- Volunteer-involving organisations may hold a celebration event for their existing volunteers. (It could even be a taster event to show others what volunteer roles are on offer)
- Businesses could highlight the value of volunteering to their employees and customers, sharing stories of what has been done by volunteers to make a difference in their own communities.
Whatever you decide to do, we’d love to hear from you and would love to give as much recognition for volunteers as possible across social media platforms, so please get involved and use the hashtag #VolunteersWeek and #WythnosGwirfoddolwyr.
To get in touch, to discuss ideas, connect with other organisations or share your plans, contact us on email@example.com.