My message for Volunteers’ Week

It is no exaggeration to say that Volunteers’ Week has become an institution. Now in its fourth decade, it not only provides a formidable showcase for the powerful work of volunteers in a myriad of causes, but increasingly encourages more and more new recruits to taste the satisfaction that helping others in the community can deliver. It is a taste that lingers irresistibly – the number of citizens (and I use that word in its proper sense of obligation to society) who choose to volunteer at least once a month has exceeded 20 million.

Democracy in action

Whether driven by a neighbourly passion to help others or to achieve a personal “high” of satisfaction, it is the finest example of real democracy in action – people voting with their feet not in response to the relatively long-delivery election promises of politicians, but to identify and tackle immediately an issue on their doorstep or in society at large.  Of the 164,000 registered charities that weave a web of support across our country, an amazing 90% have no paid staff.  And it is estimated that there are another 150,000 non-registered organisations also run entirely by volunteers.  They are all succoured and sustained by an army of people who get a real kick out of donating personal time and effort to help others.

A call to action

There are, of course, many other worthwhile weeks in the year devoted to creating awareness and support for one particular need or another, but, in a very real sense, Volunteers’ Week embraces them all, because it places no limits on the inspiring projects or simple contributions that tempt so many to the cause of their choice.

Above all, it is a life-enhancing experience for the volunteers as well as the beneficiaries – so pick your cause, your organisation or simply your own idea and kick-start or enhance your contribution to the lifeblood of our country.

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Martyn Lewis Sir Martyn Lewis CBE is the chairman of NCVO’s trustee board. His knowledge and experience in the voluntary sector spans 32 years.

One Response to My message for Volunteers’ Week

  1. James Cook says:

    Dave Windsor had a cardiac event many years ago but as a result attended the Cardiac rehab phase 4 in Chepstow leisure centre. This is where the link with Dave begins.

    Dave is a very popular participant within the classes and always cheerful and a great motivator for his peers.Dave has excellent organisational skills and has arranged numerous Cardiac Rehab social meals encouraging the partners and spouses to experience the strong passion of the group. Dave loves to walk and as a result joined the F4L Walking for health group leading off from Chepstow Leisure Centre. The group needed continuing support to run smoothly and efficiently and required trained walk leaders, Dave was the first to put his hand in the air to volunteer. The training was eagerly delivered and Dave was an official Walk Leader (complete with a T Shirt).

    The walks were discovered and risk assessed regularly by Dave and each walk lead by Dave complete with his cheery manor making walks so enjoyable and fun.

    The 6 weeks programmes are set ahead so that everyone can see the schedule, Dave and walking friends meet and set these and programme which are displayed in the centre for all to view and get involved.
    Dave is a fantastic cook and always bakes fresh Welsh cakes or a chocolate banana cake as refreshments on this walk meeting.

    A truly lovable man with a heart of gold and a well-deserved Monmouthshire Volunteer of the month and continuing in the future for sure.