Celebrating voluntary commitment to society
Between 1st and 7th June, the UK celebrates Volunteers’ Week. It is a week in which organisations in the UK celebrates volunteers and says thank you for the contribution that they make. The week also raises awareness about the benefits becoming a volunteer and the diverse volunteering roles that are available. EFDN members from the UK also took part of the Volunteers’ Week and showcased the great input from their supporters who dedicated their time to help the local community and give back something to the club they love.
In 2018 the theme for Volunteers’ Week was “Volunteering for All” to celebrate the fact that volunteers can come from all communities and all walks of life, carrying out a diverse range of roles. The theme is also designed to help organisations think about how they can successfully open up volunteering opportunities to all and increase diversity in their volunteer base and trustees. As well as helping others, volunteering has been shown to have a positive impact on the lives of those who volunteer, assisting volunteers in gaining new skills and boosting self-esteem. There are many voluntary organisations in the UK that rely on volunteers to help others. During the week stories about volunteering are shared on social media and hundreds of celebrations and events took place using the hashtag #Volunteersweek.
Aberdeen FC Community Trust
The Aberdeen FC Community Trust won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services. The award is described as the ‘MBE for volunteer groups’ and recognises the work done by charities across the UK, with the award being the highest honour bestowed on volunteer groups. This latest recognition is further evidence of AFCCT’s community work as the gold standard for football clubs across the country.
Since the beginning of the Community Trust, the volunteers have dedicated more than 12,500 hours of voluntary work from 17,500 volunteers.
THE AFCCT chief executive, Ally Prockter said: “We have nearly 80 volunteers at certain times and a team of 40 to 50 staff so it doubles our person power, but all these volunteers have been through programmes themselves and live in the communities we’re helping. Their commitment and enthusiasm to deliver good value community products is fantastic and the smiles and fun they’re having means they bring their own energy into the room.”
Everton in the Community
To kick off Volunteers Week 2018, Everton in the Community (EitC) organised a special event on Friday, June 1 to celebrate the fantastic volunteers who contribute so much to the life-changing initiatives carried out by EitC. Held in the Blue Base, the event saw Club Ambassadors Graeme Sharp and Graham Stuart present awards to EitC volunteers as a gesture of appreciation for their hard work and dedication to the charity throughout the 2017/18 season. Volunteering is a vital component of EitC. The charity runs more than 40 live programmes and the support of volunteers who selflessly donate their time is invaluable. As well as meeting new people, learning and exchanging new skills and giving back to the local community, many EitC volunteers have benefited from further opportunities in education and/or training, with a number obtaining full-time roles within Everton’s official charity.
— Everton in the Community (@EITC) June 7, 2018
Big Hearts Community Trust
The Big Hearts Community Trust was very active during the week, showcasing their volunteers’ commitment to support the local communities by dedicating their time and efforts. For example, Lawrence, one of the club’s supporters, is dedicating his free time to collect match programmes, some of which even date back to 1881. Lawrence has decided to become a Big Hearts Supporter for many reasons. The main one, of course, is to support Hearts in another way. By sharing his love for the Club, Lawrence saw himself getting new friends and learning even more about the social history of Hearts and Scottish Football. Read his full story on the Big Hearts Community Trust website. More stories and experiences related to the Big Heart’s Volunteers’ Week can be found here.
‘’Thinking about how Hearts has impacted my life, with its ups and downs, I feel like I need to give something back to the Club’’.