National Volunteers’ Week is a very special week in the UK and an opportunity to thank volunteers for their fantastic contributions.

Celebrated from the 1st to the 7th June, National Volunteers week highlights the huge value volunteers make to organisations like Guild Care.

There are millions of volunteers in the UK and Guild Care has over 300 of them, aged from 14 to an impressive 92. Volunteers are a key element of Guild Care and their invaluable contribution helps continue to run our 30 plus community services. Whether they are helping in our charity shops, volunteering in our centres, driving our vans and minibuses, or helping in our care homes, they are the individuals who are the faces of the organisation and proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with staff teams.

This Volunteers’ Week, we are celebrating our brilliant volunteers and recognising their generous time giving, which totalled an impressive 60,000 hours last year.

Melanie Spicer used to come into our charity shop on Rectory Road when her kids were younger on the way home from the school run and was soon asked to become a volunteer.

She said, “I really like volunteering in the shop and being part of the community. There is a really nice social side to this role as I love talking to people, be they our staff, volunteers or shoppers. I also love rummaging through all the items that are donated. It’s like going to TK Maxx but in a charity shop instead!  But my husband has told me to stop shopping as we can’t fit all the clothes I’ve bought in my wardrobes!”

As well as 11 charity shops, we also provide dementia services such the Bradbury Wellbeing Centre, which offers a range of services supporting hundreds of people living with dementia and their carers.

Ros volunteers at the centre. She said, “‘I love being part of a fantastic team that really care about the customers and work together to give them the best possible experience.”

We also have a fleet of minibuses that pick up service users who attend the centres and social outings and bring them back home at the end of the day. These buses are generally driven by volunteer drivers, like Clair.

Clair has been volunteering as a minibus driver for nearly two years, a role which she is able to fit around work. She said, “I have such a great time volunteering, driving people home from their day at the Guild Care Centre. I had always enjoyed driving and meeting people. I love the interaction with the customers when I am helping them on and off the bus. There are always plenty of laughs.”

Guild Care recognises and greatly appreciate the skills, experience and enthusiasm our volunteers bring, with every single one of them helping to make a big difference to the people we help.

Claire Hutchinson, Volunteer Co-ordinator said, “We are so very lucky to have our special volunteers. I  would like to take this opportunity on behalf of everyone at Guild Care to say a huge thank you to each and every one of our volunteers for all that they do. At Guild Care our wonderful volunteers are present across many parts of the organisation and add so much value to our services and to our customer’s and resident’s experiences.”

For more information on volunteering at Guild Care, contact Claire on 01903 600602 or email: [email protected].