A big 'thank you' to all our fabulous volunteers

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Volunteers' Week may be over for another year but there's still time to say thank you.

Volunteers’ Week is all about recognising and celebrating the many people who are giving their time and efforts for their community.

I hope reading this might prompt you to thank your kids’ football coach or their Cub Leader, the people who run your WI or a neighbour you’re really grateful to. They are doing their best, giving up their free time to help out at a time when expectations are high, and appreciation is often hard to come by.

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Whether or not we’re able to get out much, we all have talents we could share and communities flourish when everyone has a chance to use theirs. But where to start? Perhaps firstly by pointing out to someone else what they are good at, and then thinking about yourself.

Community Fit volunteers lend a hand at Oatlands Community CentreCommunity Fit volunteers lend a hand at Oatlands Community Centre
Community Fit volunteers lend a hand at Oatlands Community Centre

Leading busy lives or feeling stuck or out of touch can stop us from reflecting on what we could give back. What did you used to enjoy doing? What do people compliment you about? Is there a local group of people who share your interests, a neighbour who might want to learn from you, or a charity who would love you to use those skills to help them out from time to time?

A good place to look for opportunities is our website www.hadca.org.uk/volunteer . The Advertiser is also a great source of information about local events and activity groups or you could also check the community notice boards in local shops for more information.

Short on time? Ad-hoc or “micro” volunteering is increasingly popular, perhaps helping with a one-off fundraising event or community activity. If that’s not for you, other groups might want help sharing information about their activities on social media or filling envelopes from the comfort of your sofa.

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Research has shown that volunteering DOES have a positive impact on wellbeing, so we really can say that volunteering makes you happier. There is such a variety of ways to help in our local community, that everyone can have a part to play.

hat could be formal volunteering where you fill in an application form and often go to the same place every week. Or, it could be supporting a community that you are part of, by pitching in to help with the things that need doing to keep it running, like a faith community, a sports team or a PTA.

But helping a friend or neighbour is an equally important way of offering your time. So, whatever you’re doing to support your community, thank you! What you do matters and things just wouldn’t be the same without your unique contribution.

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