Wiltshire thanks volunteers for making a difference

Wiltshire thanks volunteers for making a difference

Volunteers were promoting volunteering and encouraging more people to get involved at the Volunteer Fair to mark National Volunteers Week 2019.

The event was organised by Conservative led Wiltshire Council and Wessex Community Action and followed a volunteer fair in Salisbury Library the previous day.

Cllr. Chris Williams, portfolio holder for communities at Conservative led Wiltshire Council said: "People in Wiltshire have a great sense of community spirit and want to be a force for good in their corner of the county. We are really fortunate to have so many people who volunteer purely to help make a difference in people's lives. This is a great opportunity to recognise their commitment and say thank you for everything they do."

Becky Brown, mentoring manager at Youth Adventure Trust already had a volunteer sign up to help the charity five minutes after setting up her stall at the fair.

She said: "Our charity uses the power of the outdoors to transform the lives of vulnerable young people aged from 11 to 16 years. People volunteer with us to help young people while being involved in outdoor activities and they know they make a real difference to young people's lives."

Clare Lucas, volunteering officer at the Alzheimers Society said: "This fair is a great opportunity to raise awareness. We have 200 volunteers but we always need more. There are various roles people can play and people can give as much or as little time as they want."

The Independent Visitor Scheme (IVS) recruits adult volunteers who provide independent befriending support to children in care. They have 52 volunteers in Wiltshire currently but always need more particularly male volunteers.

Anthony Andrews, IVS support worker said: "The volunteers really help the young people come out of themselves and develop. It is a long term role which helps young people to have a constant person who will carry on supporting them."

Volunteers represented at the event included the Youth Offending Team, Independent Visitor Scheme, rights of way and countryside, Wiltshire Walking and libraries. There were also representatives from voluntary organisations which Conservative led Wiltshire Council supports including Wessex Community Action, Alzheimers, Rights of Way and Countryside, Rethink, Carers Support, Sports Development, Youth Adventure Trust, Swan Advocacy, Grandmentors and Victim Support.

Volunteers Week is organised by NCVO100 a membership organisation that champions the voluntary sector and volunteering.

by Charlie Monro,