The Star Says: Giving something back to help others

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There’s nothing we enjoy reporting on more than stories that bring different parts of our local community together.

Too often The Star has to tackle to issues that have had a negative impact on someone’s life – a court case, job losses, a tragic death.

So it is always refreshing to tell of how people have come together for a positive reason to benefit others.

Volunteers from ten Sheffield businesses gave up their time to support a community project which runs a foodbank to help those in need.

Firms allowed their staff time off to volunteer at St Saviour’s Community Project in High Green as part of the annual ‘Give and Gain Day’. Organised by Business in the Community, Give and Gain Day is a national employee volunteer day.

Firms are encouraged to allow members of staff time away from their normal jobs to volunteer with a range of different organisations including youth clubs, primary schools and charities.

For example volunteers visited Charlton Brook in High Green to help clear the river of rubbish, tidy and paint the children’s playground and build raised beds.

The act of volunteering isn’t limited to those who are seemingly better off than those they are helping.

We also tell the story of 50-year-old Kassem Salem, who was born in a refugee camp in Lebanon and has endured multiple conflicts throughout his life.

Mr Salem, a fully trained doctor, fled to the UK with his Romanian wife and 12-year-old daughter on an illicit flight, and now claims legal asylum in Sheffield.

He has since signed up to volunteer at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, which he says has given him a chance to ‘give back to this country’.

Mr Salem spoke to our reporter Alex Evans about his experiences as part of Volunteers Week, a week of awareness around the work of volunteers which aims to highlight the positive impact of volunteering.

His story about the feeling of being able to give something back to the city that took him in.

However, it expresses a wider thought of doing what you can to help others.

We all have our own problems and issues. It isn’t as easy as just ‘doing something’ when we all have pressing matters.

However, we must praise those that go out of their way to donate their time.

Those who volunteer say it is hugely rewarding – maybe more of us should give it a try?