News

Celebrating Calderdale’s amazing volunteers

Volunteers week

This Volunteers’ Week, Calderdale Council is reminding people of the benefits of volunteering and recognising the important contribution made by volunteers.

National Volunteers’ Week runs from Saturday 1 – Friday 7 June. During the week, hundreds of events and celebrations take place across the country, saying thank you to volunteers and recognising their invaluable and diverse contribution to the UK.

On Wednesday 5 June from 12-2pm, Halifax Borough Market is hosting a volunteering showcase which will be full of information about volunteering with the Council as well as details of other volunteering opportunities across the borough.

In Calderdale, over 300 people give their time to make a difference in a variety of volunteer roles for the Council. Volunteering positions are available right across the Council, including the library and museums service, children and young people’s service, the countryside team and many others. Last year, volunteers worked over 29,000 hours, supporting these valuable services.

Volunteers add great value to the work of the Council and the Council is committed to ensuring that volunteers also get something in return. Full training is provided and dedicated staff support is always on hand. To find out more about current opportunities and the support available, visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/volunteering.

There are many more opportunities outside the Council in around 800 voluntary organisations across the borough, so there’s a wide mix of different activities to support at people’s fingertips.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Cohesion, Cllr Faisal Shoukat, said:

“This Volunteers’ Week we’re celebrating our wonderful volunteers and showcasing the wealth of volunteering opportunities within the Council.

“Calderdale’s amazing kindness and resilience is summed up perfectly by its vibrant culture of volunteering and community action and we want to continue to improve our offer to volunteers as a key part of the Vision 2024.

“Volunteering has many benefits and we know that our volunteers have many different reasons for giving their time. What unites them is that they find their roles both challenging and rewarding and we’re very grateful for the time and effort that goes into their work.”

Case Study – Reena’s story The Council’s volunteer Independent Visitors work with the Children and Young People’s Service. Their role involves spending time with children and young people in care and meeting them once a month to help with their personal and social development. This is the story of one of the Council’s Independent Visitors and her relationship with a teenage girl in care, Reena:

Reena had a number of placement moves and struggled to form peer friendships. She was referred for an Independent Visitor to support her, however due to her turbulent past she struggled to engage with her Independent Visitor. Reena would close herself in her room and refuse to come out, trying to push the Independent Visitor away.  

The Independent Visitor was persistent and continued to visit. Most of the time sitting on her bedroom floor trying to engage Reena in conversation. Through determination and regular visits Reena eventually came out of her room and they would sit on the kerb outside the house talking, Reena removed one of her headphone buds so she could listen.   

After many visits and hours of being consistent, Reena and her Independent Visitor went out for a bite to eat for the first time. 

Reena’s Independent Visitor put in a lot of time and effort and didn’t just give up. Now Reena has someone persistent in her life, someone she trusts and that she enjoys spending time with.

Celebrating everyone who volunteers and championing the voluntary sector is a vital part of Vision 2024. Where do we want to be by 2024? How will the Calderdale of 2024 be different from the place it is now? What ambitions do we share? Join the conversation by following #VisionCdale2024 on social media and visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/vision.

For more information about volunteering in Calderdale, visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/volunteering

ENDS