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04 Apr 2018
We’ve all read the news over the years on why volunteering is important; it offers help to worthwhile causes, for those in need, and the wider community. Many organisations and charities rely on the generosity of volunteers as they may receive little or no funding through government or local councils. With current demands on public finances this is increasingly difficult, volunteers and external fund raising is the norm for many charities and causes. Most depend greatly upon volunteers to help them exist and advance their work.
With people leading busy lives, the idea of volunteering – giving your time and energy to a cause without financial reward – may seem an impossible task. However, volunteering can take as little or as much time as you want to give. There’s a freedom to control your time which paid employment doesn’t give. It’s also a fact, volunteering is a big benefit for the volunteer themselves, not just the community or organisation receiving assistance. Perhaps there is also something addictive about it, when someone starts volunteering one place, often a second or even a third volunteer role follows.
Citizens Advice was setup as a voluntary organisation, relying on volunteers for most of its services from the start. They’re approach to providing the advice people need for the problems they face is of incredible value in a world that can often seem unfair or unjust. So why do volunteers at the Bracknell & District Citizens Advice (CAB&D) do what they do, not just for Citizens Advice but for many other organisations as well? We knew our volunteers are amazing people, these words from them shows it!
Lena – Gateway Assesor
I started to volunteer at CAB&D after a long illness to get back into work and I absolutely enjoy it. As well as gateway assessing I am a mentor with New Leaf, facilitating the rehabilitation of people who have been in prison back into society. I also volunteer with the soup kitchen on certain Friday lunchtime at my local r/c church but that’s stopped due to covid-19.
John M – Specialist Advisor
I’ve been volunteering with Bracknell Foodbank for around ten years, working in the warehouse. I have temporarily withdrawn to self-isolate due to covid-19 but will return when safe to do so.
Peter F – Specialist Advisor
I want to help those less fortunate than me, I’m also passionate about the environment and want to contribute to preserving our planet. In addition to CAB&D I volunteer for homeless projects such as the Salvation Army drop-in centre and The Night Shelter project which runs every year between November and February. I’ve volunteered for several local environmental projects and am a committee member of Wild About Datchet, a wildlife project aimed at preserving the environment and improving sustainability in the village.
Janet C – Research and Campaigns
Through my volunteering I try to actively support the causes I believe in: addressing inequality; the climate crisis; and the local arts. I’ve volunteered with CAB&D for 3 years, this year I joined my local parish council hoping to focus on environmental issues. I volunteer on several community arts projects which have stopped due to covid-19 but participated in the ‘Scrubs Glorious Scrubs’ project making nurses scrubs for the NHS.
Penny – General Advisor
I volunteer to make a difference in the lives of people who are just like me – but who need a helping hand or a listening ear. Working across different local charities helps me appreciate our brilliant local community. I volunteer for Bracknell Foodbank, leading the team serving clients and receiving donations one day, and a second day packing food. My involvement at the Foodbank has significantly increased since the crisis started. I’m also a volunteer who phones vulnerable people that are members of my local church, making sure they are not isolated and have all they need.
Callum P – Media and Communications
I volunteer to gain skills and make a difference. I volunteered in the Oxfam retail stores (before closing due to the covid-19) as Oxfam makes a difference mainly abroad and for CAB&D impact at a local level, with both volunteering roles being completely different.
Gisela B – General Advisor
I volunteer because I want to make a difference and be useful. Apart from volunteering for CAB, I also do CAP (Christians against poverty) and run Money Management Courses for local people. The last course was interrupted by covid-19 after the second session but we are trying to organise an online course.
Daphne H – Gateway Assesor
I want to give something back to my community. Also from a personal perspective I wanted to challenge myself by applying the experience I had built in my work career to something new. I am a school Governor as well as my volunteer time with CAB&D.
Lesley S – Specialist Advisor
Apart from my time with CAB&D I am also involved with Ascot & District Talking News.
We edit the local newspapers and record this onto USB stick which is duplicated and sent to ‘listeners’ who are sight impaired or find it difficult to read a newspaper for any reason. Unfortunately this service has been suspended due to covid-19.
Will H – Specialist Advisor
For many years now, I have been Secretary of Bracknell & District Parkinson’s Branch for which I look after membership, communications, meetings, and fundraising amongst other things. This has continued during covid-19 but has required a major change in transferring activities and meetings online which we have successfully managed to do. These include Physio, Singing, Dance, and virtual meetings and Chat Forums.
Pam G – Reception
What drew me to volunteering for CAB&D is helping people from all walks of life and understanding issues that I have not experienced myself. I volunteer for more than one group because I feel I can help the public in different ways. Through Good Neighbours I offer drives to hospital appts, doctors, hairdressers, etc for people who cannot drive – typically older folk. I also volunteer as a Community first Responder for the South Central Ambulance service. The Good Neighbours driving has stopped since Covid-19 and the Community first Responding has increased.