Island life ‘made possible by work of unsung volunteers’

ISLANDERS should use their passions to get into volunteering, Association of Guernsey Charities chairman Malcolm Woodhams said at the start of 2021 Volunteers’ Week.

The annual event, which aims to highlight the important role volunteers play in society, gets under way today.

‘It’s designed to acknowledge the many people who contribute to their community by giving some of their time to volunteering and also encourage and inspire more people to use their passion and skills to help the community,’ Mr Woodhams said.

Because so much volunteering is done without fanfare in Guernsey, Mr Woodhams said it was impossible to know how many people were giving their time to volunteer, but he was confident it was in the thousands.

Volunteers' Week runs from 1 to 7 June. (29605908)

People often associate volunteering with helping charities, such as in a charity shop, but Mr Woodhams said it was much wider than that, commenting that bodies like douzaines, sports clubs and the RNLI were manned by volunteers.

‘Volunteers also organise some of our well-loved events – they would just not be possible if it was not for volunteers.’

He said that people should look at their skills and see how they can help groups. That could include IT or PR support or accounting.

Malcolm Woodhams, Association of Guernsey Charities chairman. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29597653)

The Covid pandemic has seen many people stepping up to volunteer to support others, such as collecting shopping and food for those shielding or quarantining.

‘In Guernsey, through both lockdowns, a significant number of people offered their time to help others in the island,’ he said.

Another important aspect of volunteering is companies encouraging staff to get involved as part of their corporate social responsibility.

‘Many local businesses already encourage their employees to volunteer their time as part of CSR initiatives,’ Mr Woodhams said.

‘We would encourage more companies to look at how they can support the community around them.’

  • For more information about volunteering in Guernsey, visit volunteer.gg.

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