Championing volunteering across Cheshire West and Chester

Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA) will continue its celebration of volunteering throughout 2021 and encourage people to think about giving up their spare time to support local charities and community groups.

In partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council, CWVA ran a Year of Volunteering campaign during 2020, highlighting the many benefits volunteering can bring. There were different themes each month, such as older volunteers, younger volunteers and trustees, to highlight the difference each of those groups make.

Volunteering was in the spotlight more than ever before last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with CWVA and the Council signposting more than 2,000 people to volunteering opportunities as part of the coordinated community response. Many others have been good neighbours and micro volunteered with initiatives like the Council’s community champions.

The Year of Volunteering campaign was rounded off with Volunteer Awards Month, recognising volunteers for all the work they’d done during the pandemic and before that. 

CWVA’s volunteering campaign for 2021 will focus on three key themes that are a priority for the Council: poverty, climate and mental health. The campaign will look at the impact volunteers can make in these areas and help signpost people to opportunities perfect for them. There will also be regular online events based on each of the themes so potential volunteers can access support.

Clare Harrison, Deputy Chief Executive of Cheshire West Voluntary Action, said: “We far exceeded the objectives we set at the start of the Year of Volunteering campaign.

“We wanted to help our members recruit at least 100 new volunteers, but the pandemic has introduced many more people to volunteering who probably hadn’t ever thought about supporting a local charity or community group before.

“Volunteers in Cheshire West and Chester have been amazing during the pandemic and the big challenge now is retaining volunteers when people’s circumstances change.

“We want to highlight how volunteering is something people can do in the longer term to fit in with their other commitments, as well as the many benefits they will continue to get from supporting their communities.”

CWVA has launched a new volunteering website, making it easy for people to find out about the latest volunteering opportunities and organisations to add their own opportunities.

If you have a volunteering story you’d like to share as part of the campaign, please email: ryan.gould@chesterva.org.uk.

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