Volunteers make an enormous difference to clubs, groups, businesses and organisations across North Bristol.
We look at the ways you can get involved in our area…
Volunteers provide an estimated £22.6bn every year in the value they provide in the UK, but beyond the financial benefits – people, organisations, animals and more thrive thanks to the support offered by the donation of time.
Every year, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations organises Volunteers’ Week to recognise this contribution.
From June 1 -7 hundreds of events and celebrations take place across the country, saying thank you to volunteers.
The West of England MS Therapy Centre is based in Bradley Stoke, it utilises the support of dozens of volunteers every year.
Claire Wingate, community support development officer, told us: “The West of England MS Therapy Centre could not provide the range of therapies and support to our members without the invaluable support of our volunteers.
“Last year volunteers provided the centre with 10,000 hours in a variety of roles, from admin to supporting out oxygen unit, gardening events, driving members to our centre.
“We are so appreciative of their support and value all their time, experience and expertise that they give us.”
Wanting to do good is considered the most important reason to volunteer and with more than 166,000 voluntary organisations in the UK, their contribution is invaluable.
There are literally dozens of organisations in North Bristol that require help from volunteers, including the North Bristol Advice Centre. Individuals help in a variety of roles including admin, IT, publicity, debt and more.
Bristol City Council has details of you can help in your community on its website, whilst North Bristol Food Bank describes volunteers as ‘the lifeblood of foodbanks’ and ‘the driving force behind foodbanks’.
Volunteer Centre Patchway, Filton and the Stokes helps match people looking for volunteering in the local community with volunteer roles with groups and charities.
It runs drop in sessions for people to talk about volunteering to help understand their options in Patchway, Filton, Bradley Stoke and Stoke Gifford.
Andy Wynn, manager of the WillowBrook Centre is a governor at Meadowbrook Primary in Bradley Stoke. He said: “There are so many people who offer support to the school by way of volunteering their time and expertise. They’re a vital resource and I’m proud to say I’m one of those individuals.”
Here are some great links to other organisations in our area that appreciate help and support from people who can donate their time.
Alan Wilcox of North Bristol Running Club set up the group with his wife Sheila. There are now more than 1,000 members, supported by many volunteers.
Alan explained why they’ve never tried to make a profit from what is clearly a hugely successful group. “We like to give something back. We enjoy supporting the community. If someone gets a personal best in a race or a marathon, we like to think we helped in their development.
I’m a mental health ambassador and some people come along to talk things out, or even not to talk, just to clear their minds,” he said.
If you want to get involved with Volunteers’ Week, visit the website, where you can download resources, information and details and of events that are taking place.