Volunteers’ week is always an important time in the South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation calendar. Not just because volunteers are so integral to our own charity work but because they are essential to so many of the charitable organisations we support too.
Here at SYCF we rely on over 60 volunteers to complete our work day to day.
As a grant making charity we have volunteer panels made up of local people to decide on which charitable groups who apply for funding, should get it. We have our trustees who volunteer so much of their time and expertise to us and volunteers who help staff in the office in a range of ways. Their work is always valuable to our efforts and appreciated, as it should be.
I also recognise, especially during this special week of celebration, that volunteers are working across our region, motivated simply by wanting to do some good. Whether they are volunteering an hour a week or days at a time, they are doing an incredible thing.
Volunteering is incredibly diverse, ranging from working in a charity shop to supporting struggling families with home visits. Not only is it a benefit to the charity and those they help but it is great for the volunteers also. Not only because of the sense of good you feel from giving back but recent surveys suggest that volunteering experience is key to unlocking employment opportunities.
Volunteers’ Week is about celebrating and thanking everyone who volunteers but also to encourage more people to try volunteering also. As a local charity, I encourage anyone who is interested in giving it a try, to find a cause that you care about that works locally. Your support will directly help your own community and means you can witness the benefits of your hard work on a local level.
Working for local community and charity groups also doesn’t limit your options. I know first-hand that South Yorkshire is lucky enough to have an incredible range of organisations working for community need all across the county. So whatever causes you care about, try looking local first.
I want to thank all of the SYCF volunteers for all their hard work and say well done and keep it up to everyone who volunteers in our area. You are doing so much good for your community.
Find out more about Volunteers' Week at www.volunteersweek.org.