Since April we’ve interviewed over a dozen different voluntary organisations, and heard first-hand about the fantastic things they’re doing for people across Leeds –we’re proud to work with them, and all the other voluntary groups we partner with. This week we’re focusing on the voluntary sector in general, to find out what information and support is available for potential volunteers in our interview with Chris Bulmer here.
But first I want to talk about the voluntary sector in Leeds. How many voluntary organisations do you think there are?
A quick search on the Charity Commission’s website reveals that there are over 1500 charities working in the Leeds area – that’s a lot more than I ever thought, and includes individuals and groups such as scout groups and the like, and religious establishments that you might not immediately think are charities – but who are essential to the lives of young people and their communities.
What do they all have in common? They all want volunteers to help them run their projects. One thing that is abundantly clear from all the previous blog posts is that without volunteers, these organisations would not function, so a HUGE thank you to anyone who volunteers from us and the people of Leeds. You are all marvellous, however big or small your contribution.
And there is always room for more volunteers! If you want to help out somewhere, and perhaps aren’t quite sure where to start in finding an opportunity, or aren’t sure if the skills you have are suitable (they will be) then the Volunteer Centre (part of Voluntary Action Leeds) is a great place to start. Equally, if you are involved with an organisation that needs volunteers, it’s also worth emailing or popping into the centre, based in the centre of Leeds to see how they can help. Their website can be found here.
I was talking to Chris from the Volunteer Centre about different types of volunteering – including becoming a trustee or committee member for a charity. It’s perhaps something that most people don’t consider at first – perhaps they don’t think they have the skills or the time to do this important role, but Chris was clear – anyone can be a trustee, and people have a lot to offer, whatever their background. It is a role that many charities are looking for – so if you are thinking it might be for you, then go and talk to the helpful staff and volunteers at the Volunteer Centre.
We’d love to hear from you if you’re already a volunteer and want to encourage others to do the same, or if you’re from an organisation who have volunteers and want to say how great they are.
Written by Emma from the communications team.