Release date: 26 May 2021
Volunteers’ Week starts next Tuesday, and West Sussex County Council is celebrating by recognising the contribution of the more than 900 volunteers who give their time to deliver services and support to people across the county.
Running from 1-7 June, Volunteers’ Week is an annual event that says thank you to volunteers who give their spare time to help others.
This past year has been extremely challenging with Covid-19 and due to the pandemic, many volunteer opportunities offered by the County Council had to be put on hold.
Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire and Rescue, said: “Over the past year, volunteers have been an essential part of the pandemic response, with many more people coming forward to help in their communities, alongside those who were already volunteering. Some people who usually volunteer have also found themselves suddenly unable to continue, or having to volunteer in different ways, so it has been a time of constant change and evolution for many of our dedicated and hardworking individuals.
“This Volunteers’ Week, we simply want to say a huge thank you to everyone that volunteers for the County Council. We are also asking that if you get the opportunity, please share a thank you with every volunteer who makes such an invaluable contribution to people’s lives in West Sussex - we are so grateful to them all.”
In March this year, the council also took the opportunity to survey their volunteers to get views and feedback to help them continue to provide a wide range of meaningful volunteering opportunities that offer a positive and fulfilling experience.
The survey received more than 300 responses which highlighted the following:
- Nearly 80 per cent of volunteers have been involved with the council for over three years; with nearly 50 per cent of those having volunteered at the council for five years or more.
- 96 per cent of respondents were either satisfied or very satisfied with their volunteer experience.
- The top two reasons given for volunteering with the County Council were ‘to make a difference in their local community’ and ‘for a sense of personal satisfaction and achievement’.
- They also said that the recognition they valued the most was a thank you.
If you’re interested in giving your free time to help and support people and services within the county, there are a variety of volunteering opportunities available at the council.
These include working with young offenders, becoming a community volunteer or an Independent Visitor, volunteering with the Fire and Rescue Service, Library Service or with the waste prevention team.
Whilst some of these opportunities aren’t currently available due to lockdown measures, some will be recruiting over the coming months.
For more stories about the amazing volunteers at the council, follow @CommunitiesWSCC on Twitter or if you’re interested in volunteering for the council, visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/volunteering, or email firstname.lastname@example.org