Volunteers’ Week 2021 – a time to say thanks!

Posted on the 8th June 2021

Volunteers play a huge role in helping our reuse charities divert millions of usable household items from landfill and into low-income households and during Volunteers Week it was inspiring to hear stories from the network about their volunteers and the amazing work they do.

What is Volunteers’ Week?

Every year organisations around the country come together to celebrate the incredible work that volunteers do every day to support their communities both locally and nationally – this year was the 37th annual celebration which is held every year between 1-7 June. Despite some restrictions still being in place, this year was no different and charities and organisations across the country came together to celebrate in one way or another.

It has been a difficult and challenging year for our network of reuse charities and more so than ever, our network have been reliant on the support of volunteers to help them carry out their essential work in reaching the most isolated individuals in the community.

How did our network celebrate?

Volunteers’ Week is about taking the time to thank volunteers in a different way, whether it is sharing stories on social media, organising a special event, or sending a card. Throughout the week our fantastic network of charities each celebrated Volunteers’ Week in their own special way, and got on board with this year’s theme of ‘A Time to Say Thanks’!

The good people over at Jersey Employment Trust (part of Acorn Enterprises) took to social media to shine the spotlight on a handful of its amazing volunteers and the work they do. The organisation has been lucky to have some incredible longstanding volunteers, which include Malcom who was the very first volunteer at Acorn Enterprises, 6 years ago. “I’ve always been active and when I retired I just felt bored sitting around and wanted to be part of something. I’ve enjoyed every single second volunteering at Acorn. There’s always something to have a laugh about and everyone is so friendly and welcoming”, said Malcom about his time volunteering at Acorn Enterprises.

Over in Wales, Wastesavers opened a brand-new reuse superstore located in Merthyr. The store saves items that were destined for recycling skips and makes them available for people in need. Named ‘A New Lease of Life’, the superstore was opened to coincide with Volunteers’ Week and was opened by Merthyr’s new Mayor. Ann Pritchard, one of the shop’s new volunteers said, “I’ve always been interested in the charity side of things. I’ve volunteered in other charity shops but this is on a different scale and I love meeting new people when I’m here.”

This year’s Volunteers’ Week festivities also included ‘The Big Lunch’, which is a chance to celebrate community connections. To coincide with this theme, network member FRADE organised a BBQ in Middlesbrough for its volunteers, staff and trustees to come together after a challenging year and show its appreciation to everyone involved in the charity.

“We are so grateful to all our volunteers who help with our regular and new donors as collections have gone through the roof this past month”, stated CEO Michael Bertram.

Whilst Volunteers’ Week has officially drawn to a close, the hard work continues and we wanted to take the chance to say a huge THANK YOU from the whole team here at Reuse Network to each and every one of the volunteers who are working with our members across the country.

To find out more about Volunteers Week and how you can get involved please visit the Volunteers’ Week website.

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