Volunteers who give their valuable time to care for others make an enormous contribution to society, and this week their selflessness will be marked with a Christmassy extravaganza.
A special Christmas party celebrating the fantastic work done by the volunteers will take place on tonight night (6 Dec).
Swindon Borough Council runs a number of volunteering schemes and has the regular support of around 200 volunteers.
Their work involves caring for people who are lonely and isolated and can include anything from running them to the supermarket to popping in for a cuppa and a chat to provide some much needed company.
The Christmas celebration night is a way of recognising the valuable contribution they make and will involve festive favourites such as carol singing, mince pies and Christmas quiz.
Joy Bells, Swindon Borough Council’s Volunteer Coordinator with the Health and Wellbeing Team, said: “Our volunteers are extremely dedicated people and we couldn’t manage without them. They make such a vital contribution to society and they fully deserve to be publically thanked – a celebration to recognise their work really is the least we can do.
“The wonderful thing about volunteering is that anybody can do it. People can be as flexible with their time as they need to be and it’s a hugely rewarding experience.”
5 December marked International Volunteer Day. It’s a United Nations observance day to celebrate the power and potential of volunteerism.
It is an opportunity for volunteers and volunteer organisations to celebrate the contribution they make to their communities.
And here in Swindon, volunteers really do make a massive difference to people’s lives.
Maureen Hughes, who has been volunteering with the Council for about 18 months, said:“Volunteering has given me so much pleasure. Helping others has made my life much better – it’s very fulfilling and I really love it. Before I volunteered I was bored, now I feel wonderful.”
The event will take place at The Southbrook Inn. Joy wished personally to thank Alun Rossiter for providing it free of charge.
The Council is always on the lookout for more volunteers. If you would like to find out more, contact the Livewell hub on 01793 465513 or email LiveWell@swindon.gov.uk.