Volunteers Week round-up: ‘Hard work, self-sacrifice and enthusiasm’ of Manchester’s dedicated workers

By Matt Davies

Thousands of volunteers across Greater Manchester work tirelessly and without fanfare to help keep the city running smoothly.

There are an estimated 300,000 Manchester volunteers beavering away and each June during Volunteers Week those who have been helped get the chance to say thank-you.

The Lesbian and Gay Foundation used the first week in June  to celebrate the importance of its helpers with volunteer manager Claire Baldwin insisting the contribution of volunteers can never be underestimated.

“Without our volunteers we could not continue to deliver vital services and change the lives of thousands of lesbian, gay and bisexual people each year,” she said.

“We cannot thank our volunteers enough for the difference they make, and every single contribution whether it’s inputting data or providing face to face counselling all helps us works towards our mission of Ending Homophobia, Empowering People.

“We are proud to be a Manchester-based organisation, and we know that our volunteers are part of a city-wide group of superstars making a difference to charities like us every day.”

As part of Volunteers Week, the LGF held their annual awards ceremony to mark the many hours of hard work that go in to making the foundation what it is.

More than 60 people attended, with several hard-working support staff scooping awards including Volunteer Team of the Year and Volunteer of the Year.

Those who went the extra mile were also rewarded while every person who attended received personal thank-you letters from the foundation.

Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne said it was a timely occasion to thank the people of Manchester for their voluntary work.

“It is a fabulous opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate volunteers and the incredible contribution they make to our communities,” he said.

“Volunteers are an integral part of our society, and without their dedication, energy and commitment, many of the services we take for granted would simply grind to a halt.

“Lives in Tameside and Stockport have been changed for the better thanks to the amazing volunteers who give up their time to make the world a better place.”

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations plan the event every year as a way of recognising the hard work, self-sacrifice and enthusiasm that people put into volunteering.

NCVO director of volunteering, Justin Davis Smith said: “The magic of volunteering is that it is a two-way relationship.

“So alongside the contribution to our local communities, volunteers also benefit tremendously from the experience – learning new skills, getting back into paid work, improving physical or mental well-being, or simply meeting interesting people and having fun.

“We want to say thank you to the volunteers who make our society a better place, and to highlight the many different ways that people can get involved.”

Picture courtesy of chiricahua sky island via Flickr, with thanks

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