News

Thanking Calderdale’s amazing volunteers

Shibden Hall volunteers

Wainhouse Tower will light up purple on Monday 6 June, to demonstrate Calderdale’s gratitude for the work of the borough’s many dedicated volunteers.

The lighting of this iconic landmark is part of events taking place for national Volunteers’ Week (1 – 7 June). Calderdale Council is joining forces with the Voluntary Sector Infrastructure (VSI) Alliance and Community Foundation for Calderdale (CFFC) to say a big thank you to volunteers across the borough and anyone who gives their time to help others.

Cllr Scott Patient, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Resilience, with responsibility for volunteering, said:

“Volunteers make such an important contribution to all our lives, either directly or through the work they carry out to support organisations across the borough. From Council museums and countryside services, to befriending schemes and support advisors, volunteers play a part in so many different services, all of which make a real difference to people in Calderdale.

“We want our dedicated volunteers to feel valued all-year-round, but we say a special thank you during national Volunteers’ Week, joining the country in hosting events to raise awareness of the great work carried out by volunteers.

“This year, in partnership with the VSI Alliance and Community Foundation for Calderdale, we’re extending the celebrations and hosting events throughout the month. This includes opportunities for existing volunteers and also for those interested in getting involved in the incredibly varied and enriching roles on offer.”

Steve Duncan, CEO of the Community Foundation for Calderdale who give out grants to not-for-profit organisations in Calderdale, added:

“During lockdown there was a fuller appreciation of volunteers and a realisation of just what a huge and vital contribution they make to our community, and we would be lost without them. In my role as CEO and also a Deputy Lieutenant I have the privilege of seeing the work volunteers do, and this is an opportunity to thank them.”

Volunteers make a fantastic contribution to life in Calderdale. There are over 800 charities and community organisations in Calderdale which are supported by volunteers, and over 300 people regularly volunteer with Council services.

This dedication helps to support many important services and during national Volunteers’ Week and throughout the month of June, this contribution will be recognised with a number of events.

For the first time in two years, celebrations can include a special in-person ‘thank you’ event, which is taking place at Shibden Café. Council volunteers are invited to enjoy coffee and cake, meet fellow volunteers, share experiences and visit Shibden Hall.

This event will include contributions from existing volunteers at Shibden, who support the museum’s staff to interpret the history and the collections to the 22,000 visitors that visit Shibden Hall each year.

Barbara Jessop, who volunteers at the attraction, said:

“I’ve made so many friends whilst volunteering at Shibden Hall… Seeing visitors smile and the ‘wow’ moment when they walk into the housebody is lovely . What a privilege it is to be able to volunteer in such an amazing place.”

A special event is also taking place at Square Chapel in Halifax on Thursday 30 June between 5.30pm and 8pm. At this relaxed ‘speed dating’ style event attendees can meet and find out more about some of our amazing Calderdale voluntary sector organisations and what is involved in becoming a trustee.

Keep an eye on social media throughout Volunteers’ Week for all things volunteering, including more inspirational stories from local people. Follow Calderdale Council on Facebook and on Twitter @VolunteerCdale, @VSIAlliance and #VolunteersWeek.

More information about volunteering in Calderdale is available via the below useful links:

VSI Alliance – Volunteering Getting Started Getting Started | VSI Alliance(external link)

Calderdale Council – Information is available all year round on the Council’s volunteering web page: https://calderdale.gov.uk/v2/residents/jobs-and-volunteering/volunteering/ and at www.vsialliance.org.uk/volunteering(external link)

The Community Foundation for Calderdale supports charities and voluntary groups across Calderdale, working alongside these groups to address inequalities and create opportunities for those who need them the most. Community Foundation For Calderdale – Raising funds for local charities and individuals (cffc.co.uk)(external link)

Volunteering supports the Vision2024 for Calderdale and embodies the themes of kindness and resilience. It spreads the borough’s amazing community spirit, and helping others makes people feel great and more resilient. The year 2024 marks Calderdale’s 50th birthday. Where do we want to be by 2024? Find out more at www.calderdale.gov.uk/vision