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Volunteering is for everyone, and it’s a great way to develop yourself and put something back

thegazette@jpress.co.uk

thegazette@jpress.co.uk

Volunteer Centre Dacorum has been supporting other charities and community groups for more than 40 years.

Known as the charity that helps other charities, we have a track record of helping to build and strengthen our communities and to transform the lives of those that get involved.

Our charity supports more than 470 other local groups to find the volunteers they need to keep vital services running.

Our member organisations tell us that without our help, they would struggle to find the volunteer helpers they need, and some might even have to close down.

We get many messages of thanks including the following from Herts Baseball Club: “Thank you for your ongoing support for our club. We have added some very valuable volunteers thanks to you and we really appreciate it”.

In the last 10 years we have helped over 10,700 people of all ages, abilities and walks of life to become volunteers.

When we’re asked the question “who volunteers?” we can state with confidence that volunteering can be for everyone. We help more people between the ages of 15 and 25 years to volunteer than any other age group.

The recession has hit hard and deep in Dacorum and over recent years, the number of unemployed people coming to us for help increased by 40 per cent.

Volunteering can give people back their self-esteem and confidence and help keep skills up to date. For many, it’s also a way to try out new skills, give something back to the community and feel part of something worthwhile.

Having lost her confidence, Diane found that she felt unable to interact with the ‘outside world’ but she found the courage to take the first step and make an appointment at the Volunteer Centre. She said: “The atmosphere was warm and safe and before long I found I was sharing the skills I hoped I could offer.”

Diane now helps out at two local charities. “These two roles have rebuilt my self-esteem. I am no longer ‘unemployed’ or ‘unwell’ I am a trained volunteer – a valued member of society. I could not have taken this major step without the reassurance and support of Volunteer Centre Dacorum.”

Did you know that 12 per cent of people in Dacorum have a disability but many struggle to play an active role in our community?

Disabled people have lots to offer and want to give something back, too. Volunteering is a great way for people to realise their potential and become active citizens. We can help them make their first steps into volunteering with appropriate support.

There are lots of different ways that you could get involved in your community or support the Volunteer Centre to help other charities and good causes.

Check out our regular column in the Gazette for voluntary opportunities or come and visit us at our office in The Roundhouse, Marlowes in the heart of Hemel Hempstead town centre.

We would also like to invite you to come and join us for our first ever fundraising curry banquet night on Tuesday, April 8 at award-winning restaurant, Sitar of Boxmoor.

This is your opportunity to find out more and support your local volunteer centre.

Richard Pitts is the chief executive of Volunteer Centre Dacorum. You can find out more about the organisation’s work online at www.volunteerdacorum.org or get in touch by calling 01442 247209

 

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