Thursday 9 June 2016

Volunteer's Week

You hear a lot in the press and from that Facebook mate of yours (you know the one) about the way charities are stuffed full of overpaid, underworking execs. We could mention how in our opinion, the Third Sector could use a few more high-flying CEOs to push their working practices into the 21st century. But that's something for another column. Like this one. 
Instead, let's talk about the true mainstay of the charity sector: the volunteer. It's National Volunteer's Week from the 1st to the 12th of June and the purpose is clear. To celebrate the hard work done by the millions of people who chose to give up time, effort and creativity in the service of a greater purpose.
You may have noticed that the 12 days of the event equal more than a week. Well, you could also argue that the work that volunteers put into their chosen cause equals much more than the time they spend. Volunteer's Week has been running since 1984 and for many the event has already expanded beyond the arbitrary seven-day boundary.
This year, though, the 12th also coincides with The Patron's Lunch, a celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s lifetime of service to more than 600 charities and organisations to which she acts as a Patron, on the occasion of her 90th birthday. Seems crazy not to make the most of it, right?
The Volunteer's Week website is filling up with inspiring blogs from people across the country, recounting their stories of how they got involved and the projects in which they participate. From Abbie's tale of putting a little glam into a Cancer Research shop to Ashish's adventures in a schoolroom in the Himalayas, the lesson to learn is that volunteering doesn't have to be humdrum. For some, it's the first step to a new career, or even just a chance to meet people that you wouldn't normally.
This week is a great time to show our appreciation for the hard work and dedication of a big chunk of the British population, who give without expectation of reward. They help because they can.
And isn't that what charity is all about?

For more, visit the Volunteer's Week website:

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