Volunteers’ Week: The big celebration

The big celebration of volunteering

Over 21 million people volunteer in the UK at least once a year and this contributes an estimated £23.9bn to the UK economy. Behind these big numbers is a big contribution.

These 21 million people are a shining example of how we can all make a big difference to individuals and communities every day from improving the environment we live in, spending time with those who may otherwise be lonely and contributing to a range of other essential services and support. We believe such a big contribution is worth a big celebration!

Today we’re sharing the news that we will be extending the Volunteers’ Week celebrations this year and will be running the event from the 1-12 June.

‘But that’s not a week!’, I hear some of you cry. And you’re right. So, let me explain why we decided to extend the week this year.

More time to celebrate

This year there are an additional five days enabling more people than ever to take part and more time to celebrate. Since the campaign started back in 1984 people have always been creative with how they’ve celebrated and some of you have already started extending the week, Gateshead’s Volunteers’ Month being a good example.

Events are always a big part of Volunteers’ Week and last year over 750 events were posted on our Volunteers’ Week map from recruitment fairs to award ceremonies and tea parties! It was great to see lots of you making use of our new bunting to celebrate in style.

The end of Volunteers’ Week will also coincide with the Patron’s Lunch on 12 June, a celebration of the Queen’s birthday and her patronage of more than 600 charities in the UK and Commonwealth. Communities across the UK will be encouraged to participate by holding their own street party or event. Why not consider including a street party to bring those together in your community.

We’re hoping to see a vibrant mix of activities and celebrations across Volunteers’ Week and replicating the celebration on the mall to demonstrate how communities can come together to celebrate those volunteers who give up their time in the service of others.

More time to get involved

The week will also be a chance to inspire others to get involved. This year we also want to encourage you to showcase the range of volunteering opportunities available. There’s huge choice out there but sometimes people aren’t aware of them or they have a particular perception of what volunteering is about. Why not challenge these perceptions?

You can also use your events to create opportunities for people to give volunteering a try. Event volunteering can be a really great, short-term, flexible way to give people a taste of the volunteering experience.

People are increasingly looking for flexible volunteering that they can fit in around work or other commitments and your Volunteers’ Week ‘Big Celebration’ may just be the thing to attract them. Your event can also be a focal point to get people in your community using their skills, time and talents to help others.

Get planning!

NCVO will be providing all the information, guidance and resources you need to make your big celebration this Volunteers’ Week a success. We are preparing a pack full of ideas and tips for making the most of Volunteers’ Week this year and to help you run your own Big Celebration.

Keep up to date with plans and hear first when our resource pack is available by signing up to our Volunteers’ Week mailing list.

The team will also be providing updates on plans in our monthly Volunteering Round-up on the NCVO blog.

Tell us what you’re planning by commenting on this blog post below, add your event to our event’s map or you can tweet us @NCVOvolunteers #volunteersweek. You can also email the Volunteers’ Week team.

We can’t wait to hear about your Volunteers’ Week Big Celebration!

 

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Kristen Stephenson Kristen is NCVO’s Volunteer Management and Good Practice Manager. She’s interested in raising the profile of volunteer management as a profession, and the development of approaches which can help volunteering deliver for people, organisations and communities.

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