Falkirk Community Trust is set to say a very big public thank you this week to over 1000 local volunteers from the Falkirk area who have contributed to the successful delivery of programmes such as Active Schools, Step Forth and Care Words, by using its social media channels to profile the work of these volunteers during the nation’s 37th Volunteers Week (1-7 June).
Volunteers’ Week is marked nationally by thousands of charities and voluntary organisations who recognise the contribution volunteers make across the UK and thank them for all they do. The contribution of volunteers is often unseen and unrecognised by many, visible only through the incredible impact of their volunteering. However, the coronavirus pandemic has rightly raised the profile of volunteering and more people than ever are aware of the immense contribution being made every single day by the UK’s volunteers.
Falkirk Community Trust works with over 1000 volunteers every year to deliver essential community programmes like Active Schools, Step Forth, Great Place and Care Words. It also offers volunteering opportunities at all of its venues including the libraries, The Kelpies, Helix Park, Callendar Park, Falkirk Town Hall and Muiravonside.
Hanna Rennie volunteered her time at Muiravonside, she commented on the benefits of volunteering with Falkirk Community Trust:
“Volunteering at Muiravonside has been a hugely rewarding experience! I learned so much about countryside and conservation management which has been so valuable in my studies and in gaining further employment within the environmental industry. Aside from the professional advantages, volunteering has been great for my mental and social well-being by allowing me to meet new people and have regular access to the outdoors.
“Muiravonside contains such a variety of habitats and species and it was so enjoyable to contribute towards looking after these areas. I also learned a great deal from Simon, our manager, who has an amazing wealth of knowledge with regards to ecology and practical management skills. I would encourage everyone to get involved in any way they can – even just getting out there once a month can make a difference and helps support our local green spaces and parks.”
Tanya Milligan is Project Lead for Falkirk Community Trust’s Care Words, a National Lottery funded programme which supports and trains volunteers to work with individuals in care settings to read and reminisce. She commented on the impact volunteers can make in their local community:
“The National Lottery supported us to go into care settings for older people and run Care Words groups. Many of our clients lived with dementia and our volunteers made a huge difference – one lady recited a poem she learnt at school – when most days she hardly spoke. Our clients would chat and sing happily because of our volunteers. They really do an incredible job.”
Maureen Campbell OBE, Chief Executive of Falkirk Community Trust commented:
“Volunteers’ Week is our chance to celebrate and recognise the fantastic contribution our volunteers make. Thanks to them, Falkirk’s local community has benefited from a whole range of life-enriching services. Our volunteers are a significant part of our success, from enhancing our parklands to creating new exhibitions, organising guided walks, and coaching football and gymnastics. Their passion, commitment and dedication are hugely appreciated by our whole organisation and the community. This week it’s our turn to shine a spotlight on them and the marvellous work that they do. From me, it is a massive thank you indeed.”
Volunteer Scotland Chief Executive, Alan Stevenson said:
“Volunteers’ Week is a time to thank all of the volunteers in the UK, for the support and services they provide each year. The pandemic has changed volunteering with many more of us helping others within our local neighbourhood than ever before, so taking the time to thank them for this critical contribution and connection to the most vulnerable in our society is essential. In the last year, countless volunteering programmes have paused (we hope not closed) so this year it is especially important to also recognise those who have been unable to volunteer, or volunteer as regularly, or those who may be anxious about resuming. Remember, they are Scotland’s volunteers, we celebrate them and look forward to their full return.”