MP to be a volunteer for a week

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A WEEK working with a range of volunteer organisations in Harrgoate and Knaresborough offered such an eye-opening experience to the district’s MP that he is repeating it 12 months later.

Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, spent seven days volunteering at various organisations in 2010 in the hopes of encouraging more people to offer their time to charities in the area - and he’s planning to do it all again later this month.

Mr Jones said: “The MP Volunteer Week came about as I wanted to support the important role of the volunteer in our community and raise the profile of Harrogate, Knaresborough and Boroughbridge based charities and organisations from the voluntary sector.

“During the week I will be volunteering for a different charity or organisation every morning and afternoon and nearly all the organisations taking part in this year’s week are different from those who took part last year.”

Mr Jones’ week will see him serving tea and coffee at Age UK Knaresborough, helping staff in Asda fundraising for Tickled Pink, the breast cancer campaign, working at St Michael’s Hospice’s in-patient unit, answering the phones at Harrogate Advocacy, working outdoors with the Forest School, loading equipment to ship out to Johannesburg with Physio Net and even joining Harrogate’s Town Pastors on their regular Friday night patrols around the town centre.

“My main hope for the week is that more local people will be motivated to volunteer,” Mr Jones said.

To follow the volunteering week, scheduled for September 19-23, you can read regular updates on Mr Jones’ blog at www.volunteerweek2011.wordpress.com.