Celebrating Volunteers in Leicestershire

Volunteering contributes an estimated £22.6bn to the UK economy. Every year thousands of people across the UK celebrate National Volunteers’ Week which takes place from 1-7th June.  This Volunteers Week was a busy one at VAL, from meeting people and talking to them about volunteering and their experiences, at the Riverside Festival to volunteer speed dating and chatting online.

The first event was at the Leicester Riverside Festival, we engaged with over 120 people over the course of the weekend. Even with the rain we still managed to go on and speak to a number of people who were interested in volunteering.

On Monday 3 June, we held a Thank you event at our offices, where we celebrated in style with a lunch for our volunteers and trustees who work across for VAL. It was a great success and gave us a chance to celebrate the invaluable contribution volunteers make to our organisation.

On Tuesday 4 June, we held a ‘Speed Networking’ event at Braunstone Brite Centre in partnership with the Leicester Employment Hub. The floor was buzzing with over 140 attendees, along with stall holders from various organisations. It was an opportunity to give people a chance to meet a range of different organisations and to ask key questions. This event was also showcased in the news on Friday 7 June on ITV Central News.

On Wednesday 5 June we held a Volunteer Fair at Hinckley Library, which consisted of 9 organisations and 25 people who came to ask about volunteering, to find out more about the local opportunities which were available. It was also a chance for representatives from local charities and organisations to network with each other.

On Thursday 6 June we ran a Volunteer Celebration Event at John Storer House in Loughborough.  The event involved a speed networking session giving local volunteer co-ordinators, volunteers and members of the public a chance to meet a range of different organisations to ask some key questions and get a flavour of their work. This was a chance to bring together local voluntary organisations to celebrate the work of their volunteers.

We also held an Event at Hood Park Leisure Centre in Ashby, where 80 people came along from 30 organisations. The event was not only about volunteering but was open to the public, local groups, businesses and organisations to promote local services and to learn about what is on offer in and around Ashby, to encourage more people to volunteer and get involved in their local community.

VAL went ‘online’ – On Friday 7 June, to end our Volunteers Week we held an online drop in session for all, via our social media channels. Members of our team were available via Twitter, Facebook and an online chat forum to answer any questions, share comments or ideas related to volunteering and share feedback and learning.

Our Volunteers week does not end there, as we continue to help people change their lives for the better. Volunteering can help you gain valuable new skills and experiences, make new friends, build your CV and can help to boost your confidence.

If you’re interested in volunteering, find out more from volunteerleicestershire.org.uk