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Gill & Libby
Cllr Gill Heath and Libby Clark from Stafford Library

Staffordshire celebrates International Volunteer Day

People from across the county are being invited to find out more about the hundreds of volunteering opportunities helping to make a difference in local communities.

Staffordshire has thousands of volunteers from all backgrounds and walks of life, giving up their time and energy helping to make Staffordshire a great place to live.

International Volunteer Day today (5 December) is the chance to recognise the contributions volunteers make and highlight the great work they do. This year’s celebrations are focusing on how volunteers can help build resilient communities.

Taking place on the day is the South Staffs Volunteer Star Awards to celebrate and recognise volunteering in the area. The awards are being organised by Support Staffordshire, SCVYS (Staffordshire Council of Voluntary Youth Services) and South Staffordshire District Council.

Gill Heath, Cabinet Member for Communities at Staffordshire County Council said:

“We have thousands of volunteers playing a vital role in helping make Staffordshire a great place to live and it’s wonderful that we have this day to recognise and thank them for their contributions.

“Whether it’s helping out at a local sports club, volunteering in your library or supporting those people in communities that are most in need – older people, young people, children and families – it all makes an amazing difference.

“We continue to work closely with our partners in the voluntary sector to support and promote volunteering to help us build stronger communities here in Staffordshire. There are lots of volunteering opportunities available so if you want to make a difference and you have some spare time, it’s a really rewarding thing to do.”

Staffordshire County Council works closely with SCVYS (Staffordshire Council of Voluntary Youth Services) and Support Staffordshire to increase volunteering and to help local communities act on the issues that are important to them.

Garry Jones Chief Executive at Support Staffordshire said:

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of the community and voluntary sector, and in many cases are the only reason most community groups, start, flourish and persist.

“The majority of charities and community groups across Staffordshire have no paid staff and are run entirely by volunteers giving their time selflessly for the benefit of their community. It seems fitting therefore, on International Volunteer Day, to say a big ‘Thank You’ to all volunteers and recognise the contribution they make to our society every day.”

Phil Pusey, Chief Executive at SCVYS added:

“All you have to do to recognise the value of volunteering is imagine a world where it doesn’t happen.  People not helping other people, no intentional acts of kindness or community-mindedness, no charities, no voluntary sector.  None of us would want to live in a society like this, and because of the wonderful volunteers of Staffordshire, we don’t have to.

“We also continue to see the number of active volunteer roles growing in SCVYS member groups which now stands at 9,631. This means over 900 weekly sessions enabling personal and social development can run for over 28,475 children and young people”

Anyone interested in getting started with volunteering can contact Zoe Crozier at Support Staffordshire on 0300 777 1207. Current volunteering opportunities can also be found at www.do-it.org