Posted: Thursday 8th June 2017
We have come to the end of Volunteers’ Week, an annual celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK.
Hertfordshire County Council has hundreds of valued volunteers and Volunteers’ Week is a way of saying “thank you” to the people who regularly give up their time, unpaid, to contribute to their community.
Volunteers come from all walks of life and bring a broad range of experience to their roles. People volunteer for a variety of reasons - it might be to meet new people, improve their skills or to give something back and make a difference to their local community.
During the first four months of the year, Hertfordshire County Council has received more than 400 applications from people who wish to make a difference as a volunteer.
Hertfordshire-based volunteer, Elena Protic, found that volunteering was a way of boosting her expertise, as well as giving back to her new community after she moved from the Ukraine to live in Welwyn Garden City.
She was an English teacher in her home country and was passionate about teaching. But although she wanted to resume her career in the UK, she quickly realised that gaps in her knowledge were proving a barrier.
She decided to upskill and gain confidence by volunteering to teach English and History to visiting eastern European children. She also enrolled in a functional skills course run by Hertfordshire Adult and Family Learning Service (HAFLS).
Elena said: “I was overwhelmed by just how supportive the HAFLS team were. They helped me to reach my work goals.” HAFLS identified the skills Elena needed to develop and created a volunteering programme for her.
She said: “I’d recommend volunteering to anyone looking to improve their confidence after they’ve come from overseas, as a way to meet and connect with people, and learn new and valuable skills. Volunteering opens doors and gives you a rewarding sense that you’re making a really positive contribution.”
Many events happened across Hertfordshire throughout Volunteer Week, including an "Introduction to Volunteering" workshop at the Community Care Hub in Letchworth and a "Volunteering Sign-Up" event in Watford. Both events were organised by #TeamHerts, which is commissioned by Hertfordshire County Council’s Adult Care Services to promote volunteering opportunities.
There are many volunteering opportunities available in Hertfordshire, from conservation work to providing a much needed break for a carer or supporting your local library.
To find out more about the volunteering opportunities available at Hertfordshire County Council please visit: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/volunteering
For more information about Volunteers’ Week please visit: www.volunteersweek.org
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