Volunteer Week celebration

We have our last volunteer meeting before the summer break today and this also coincides with the beginning of “Volunteer Week: The Big Celebration”, July 1-17.

Picture for blog story Volunteer Week celebration

This is the biggest week in the volunteering calendar which recognises the contribution of local volunteers. Volunteers Week is an annual celebration of volunteering, seeing its 32nd Anniversary in Northern Ireland and Reading Rooms will join in the festivities with their volunteers on Wednesday.

Reading Rooms Officer Sinead Devine said: “Staff in the Verbal are busily getting ready with their preparations and are looking forward to sharing in this special week. It is our chance to celebrate and recognise our volunteers who read with communities all across Northern Ireland and who are helping make the Reading Rooms such a success.

“The Reading Rooms is a volunteer delivered project and we are celebrating our wonderful volunteers and their reading and engagement with groups out in the community."

Since City Of Culture 2013, the Verbal Arts Centre has trained over 70 volunteers in Shared Reading and Facilitation Skills.

Sinead Devine continued: "Research shows that the health and wellbeing of those volunteering improves and increases. 96% of volunteers feel better prepared for employment or education while 93% of retirees who volunteer show that they are physically more active and leave the house more.

“There is a 95% reduction in loneliness and isolation as a result. The Reading Rooms volunteers give up to two hours or more a week through their preparation of reading materials and their delivery to their groups or in one-to-one sessions but we have heard on many occasions that the Reading Rooms gives our volunteers so much more than they give in.”  

Wendy Osborne, Chief Executive Volunteer Now said: “Volunteer Now is delighted that Volunteers Week has been extended - even more reason to celebrate those wonderful individuals who offer their time to help others.

“There are currently over a quarter of a million volunteers in Northern Ireland who all play a vital role, from volunteer drivers to sports coaches, from hospital volunteers to those working in charity shops.  Volunteers Week gives us the opportunity to shine the spotlight on these volunteers and give them the recognition and thanks they deserve.”

The volunteer meeting and celebration will include presentation of certificates by Verbal’s Chief Executive, James Kerr, followed by a series of table topic conversations and finishing with food and cakes galore!


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