As National Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June 2023) commences, the remarkable contributions of volunteers in Calderdale are being celebrated. Known for its long-standing tradition of volunteering and kindness, the borough boasts over 800 charities and non-profit organisations dedicated to enhancing the community’s well-being and supporting vulnerable residents.
According to the Council’s Vision 2024 survey, an impressive 40% of Calderdale residents volunteered their time over the past year, surpassing both the regional and national averages. In recognition of these outstanding efforts, the Council has organised a special celebration event to thank local volunteers.
On Tuesday, June 6, over 300 individuals who regularly volunteer with Council services are invited to Artworks in Halifax. This gathering will serve as a platform for volunteers to be acknowledged and to connect with one another. Members of the Council’s Extended Leadership Team will express their gratitude, while attendees will have the opportunity to participate in art sessions that foster creativity. Together, they will collaboratively create a volunteer collage, setting the stage for the Year of Culture in 2024.
In addition to expressing gratitude, the Council and partner organisations aim to inspire more individuals to engage in volunteering opportunities throughout the borough during Volunteers’ Week. To achieve this, a volunteering marketplace will be set up in Halifax town centre on Thursday, June 15, from 11 am to 5 pm. Located on Corn Market outside the Borough Market, the marketplace will feature stalls run by community groups and charities, including the Voluntary Sector Infrastructure (VSI) Alliance and the Community Foundation for Calderdale. Visitors will have the chance to explore various volunteering opportunities and learn about simple acts of kindness, such as donating items to local causes.
This initiative builds upon the Calderdale Pledge, launched by the Council and VSI Alliance on May 8, the day of the national Big Help Out for the Coronation of The King and The Queen Consort. By visiting www.vsialliance.org.uk/cvp, individuals can pledge their commitment to volunteering or acts of kindness. These pledges may range from donating money or clothes, checking in on a neighbour, or volunteering for a local charity or community group. The Council and VSI Alliance will match these pledges with appropriate opportunities.
Councillor Sarah Courtney, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Towns, Tourism, and Voluntary Sector, expressed the significance of recognising volunteers, particularly after the challenges faced in recent years. She highlighted the volunteers’ unwavering dedication, even in the face of adversity caused by flooding, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the cost of living crisis. Their efforts have played a pivotal role in supporting the Council’s priorities of thriving towns, reduced inequalities, and climate action.
Councillor Courtney emphasised that championing and increasing volunteering aligns with Calderdale’s Vision 2024, reflecting the borough’s aspiration for kindness and resilience. This Volunteers’ Week, Calderdale extends a resounding “thank you” to all volunteers while promoting the diverse range of volunteering opportunities available. The aim is to inspire more individuals to step forward and experience the rewarding journey of making a positive impact in their community.
For more information on volunteering opportunities or to make a pledge, please visit www.vsialliance.org.uk/cvp.