It will be Volunteers’ Week at the start of June (1-7 June) and we want to say an enormous thank you to all volunteers across East Sussex.
Thousands of people from all walks of life across the county play an absolutely essential role in our communities. Whether that’s helping neighbours, litter picking, running voluntary groups, organising foodbanks, providing transport, or hundreds of other ways, they all make a massive difference.
But it also helps them. Most volunteers will vouch for the fact that in doing something to help others, there’s a reward for them to. It can provide a real sense of purpose, of making a contribution and of helping to make a difference.
If you’re interested in volunteering but don’t know where or how to start 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 our libraries. 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. And our libraries are currently looking for volunteers to help run this year’s Summer Reading Challenge for young people. Find out how you can volunteer in our libraries
Join the People Bank and have your say
Could you help improve and develop council services? If you have 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. Find out more about the People Bank
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. Search for Good Neighbour Schemes in your area
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. What’s on offer at the Volunteer Centre East Sussex
Volunteer through East Sussex County Council
There are a number of ways we can help you get involved with volunteering. This might be working in the countryside, or helping with community transport schemes. Ways you can volunteer with us
And watch this space. We have partnered up with Bronze Labs, Rother Voluntary Action (RVA), Hastings Voluntary Action (HVA) and Wealden, Eastbourne and Lewes Voluntary Action (3VA) to introduce a new project to make it easier for people looking for volunteering opportunities, and to help organisations find volunteers.
The Tribe Project will promote their volunteering opportunities with residents through an app. The app will be available in September 2023 and will match people up with suitable volunteering roles. Many organisations have already listed their jobs and it will be a useful one-stop-shop for people looking for volunteering opportunities or for volunteers.
There are seven Trussell Trust Foodbanks in East Sussex all of which rely on volunteers and local community support. These foodbanks support individuals and families in crisis with emergency food. Each foodbank is different but they all have volunteers in various different roles. In many the food donations need collecting, sorting, and organising in foodboxes which provide three meals for three days for each family member. These are either collected or delivered. Other roles involve admin, working with agencies that refer people for help, or direct contact with clients. Find out more about the Trussell Trust and your local foodbank
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. Find out the number of ways you can get involved
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. It also gives you the chance to meet new people.
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!