Thanks to all Rother’s volunteers for making a difference

The first week of June is Volunteers’ Week, an annual celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK. It’s a time to reflect on the vital contribution that volunteers make to our community. They usually work under the radar so most people are unaware of the enormous part they play. But they are, in fact, the life blood of our community.

Stop for a minute and imagine what Rother would be like if all the volunteers were taken away….. There would be no activities for young people, as youth clubs, scouts and guides would close down; beaches would become danger spots, as there would be no lifeguards; many people would become housebound, as there would be no volunteer drivers and the community bus would cease to run; all the charity shops would close down, depriving charities of an income stream and shoppers of a bargain.

And this is only the tip of the iceberg – a great many people, especially those who are elderly, disabled or vulnerable rely on people to help them with day to day tasks such as going shopping or to hospital and doctor’s appointments, doing a bit of housework or to provide a bit of company over a cup of tea. Without volunteers there would be no community.

For many organisations Volunteers’ Week is an opportunity to say thank you to those that help them out, recruit new people and to promote the range of different ways to make a difference.  The opportunities are so varied, which means there is something for everyone to get involved in, regardless of their age and interests.

Take these students from Brighton University (pictured) who are making a big difference to the environment through Clean Seas Please, a fantastic environmental project to clean up our local beaches and seawater.  The students give up their free time to collect litter from local beaches, hand out poo bags to dog owners and talk to the community about what they can do to minimise pollution, because it’s a cause they care about.

This is an example of how volunteering can be empowering – although you might not be able to change things on a global scale, you can make a difference locally to individuals and communities by improving the environment we live in.

Volunteer and community organisations by their very nature usually operate with limited resources.  This is where RVA comes in.  We are the organisation that drives the volunteer and community in Rother so we know only too well what a difference volunteers make.  We are holding various events to thank these wonderful people who keep the community of Rother alive.  Watch out for our regular posts throughout the week or follow the East Sussex campaign on Twitter – #volunteerESx

To find out about volunteering opportunities in Rother please visit our website at www.rva.uk.com or drop in and see us at our office on London Road, next to Hastings Furniture Service.

Picture caption left to right:  Venetia Harding, Aaron Dowler and Molly Sayers are volunteers with Clean Seas Please