For Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) we want to say an enormous thank you to all volunteers across East Sussex.
It goes without saying that volunteers have played an essential role in the pandemic response. During an exceptionally difficult year, people from all walks of life have taken the time to volunteer and make a huge difference to their communities – just as they do every year.
During Volunteers’ Week we’ll be sharing examples of the vital work volunteers have been doing, and how you can get involved in volunteering in the future. Below are just some of the ways you can help out in your local area…
Volunteering at your local library
Volunteers are a valued and central part of East Sussex Libraries. This week, East Sussex Libraries will be telling you a little more about the roles on offer, and giving the volunteers themselves a chance to reflect on what volunteering for the library means to them.
“A few years ago, I was diagnosed with depression and wanted to volunteer for the library to improve my confidence” – a Code Club volunteer.
There are lots of interesting library services you can help out at; Rhyme Time, IT for You, Family History and Code Club are just a few.
Join the People Bank and have your say
Could you help improve and develop council services? If you have lived experience of getting support from Adult Social Care, or care for someone who has, you can join our People Bank and add your voice to the mix of people helping to shape our services.
You can get involved as much or as little as you want to, from filling in surveys, giving feedback on campaigns, taking part in discussion groups, or sitting on project panels.
Helping out at a Children’s Centre
Volunteering within the Early Help service is a chance to learn new skills, meet new people and give something back to your community.
You could help run a parent and toddler drop-in group, greet families on reception or in a health clinic or working with young people.
You will be given training and support, and be offered a reference after six months of volunteering.
Be a good neighbour
Are you interested in being more involved in your local community? Good Neighbour Schemes across East Sussex are looking for volunteers. They offer an opportunity for you to give practical support to people in your community who need a helping hand.
Volunteers help with some of the small things that can make all the difference, such as lifts to the shops, small household jobs, popping in for a chat or walking the dog. And anything else that one neighbour might do for another.
Neighbourhood Watch for your area
People join Neighbourhood Watch for many different reasons, whether it is to improve safety around their home or to become part of a group and meet new people.
In East Sussex, every Neighbourhood Watch member is a volunteer – they have no staff and are a not-for-profit organisation. Anybody can join, regardless of their background, and membership is free.
The Volunteer Centre for East Sussex
The Volunteer Centre is a partnership of local organisations and a one-stop-shop promoting, supporting and developing volunteering across the county.
The range of volunteering opportunities is huge. Whatever interests and skills you have, there is sure to be something to suit you.
Why is volunteering important?
As well as helping others, volunteering has been shown to improve volunteers’ wellbeing too. It’s human nature to feel good after helping someone out. Volunteering can also help you gain valuable new skills and experiences, and boost your confidence.
Volunteering in East Sussex is thriving. It happens where you see it such as in charity shops, and where you don’t such as neighbours helping each other out on a daily basis. It all matters and all improves our communities and our lives.
We all have something to offer so whatever you do and whenever you do it – thank you!