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The Future of Volunteering
6th June 2022
Volunteering Barnet is one of a number of volunteer services across London delivered by Groundwork London, and we’re continually working together to support the future of volunteering. We spoke with Parker from our Waltham Forest Volunteer Service on the topic and how the buzz in Volunteering seems louder than ever! When thinking about the future of volunteering honestly, I get quite excited.
When thinking about the future of volunteering honestly, I get quite excited. This isn’t because I work in this sector, or because I am a volunteer myself; it’s because I have started to see a greater understanding and appreciation for volunteers over the last few years.
The pandemic changed a lot of things for a lot of people, but from it a sense of community blossomed, a supportive environment grew to support those most in need and this for me is the true beauty of volunteering. So many people who potentially hadn’t been touched by the world of volunteering saw how powerful it really is, people who had never previously needed to access a service supported by volunteers soon came to rely on them. Volunteers delivered food to houses across the nation and many organisations developed befriending services to speak to those who were isolated with no contact or company. Even if you directly didn’t come across volunteers in the pandemic, you will have known someone who did, seen them on the news or heard about them from someone down the road. Volunteers became an essential part of the community during the pandemic, something that I see living on now.
People who have never volunteered before but wanted to help, and those who may have been furloughed and had the time on their hands, took to supporting vaccination centres, and developed what I like to call the ‘buzz’ that is volunteering. I think if you have ever volunteered you will understand what I mean by that; the joy that you feel, the sense of fulfilment and community that surrounds can never be replicated. I find when volunteering or speaking to volunteers, there is rarely a grumble or a moan about the hot day, the need to stay just that little bit longer or the sometimes not so exciting sandwiches that are on offer. Volunteers are there because they want to be, being a part of something bigger excites us and intrigues us and creates this amazing bubble of wonderful characters
I think if you have ever volunteered you will understand what I mean by that; the joy that you feel, the sense of fulfilment and community that surrounds can never be replicated.
Throughout the pandemic people have started to see the true power of volunteers or have fallen in love with it themselves, and for some they have continued to do what they have always done. This excitement and drive to volunteer is still being felt now. People have seen the benefits that volunteering can have not only for themselves but for those around them. With people toying with career changes, differing priorities, a change to home working, now couldn’t be a better time to dip your toes into volunteering. Gain experience in areas you might otherwise not be able to access, build your own self confidence and see the smile that you help to put on someone’s face.
I am excited to see where this new energy behind volunteering goes and I look forward to meeting so many new and exciting people along the way.
Thank you to all of those who supported efforts throughout the pandemic, and before – and best of luck to all those joining this amazing community of people!
– Parker, Waltham Forest Volunteer Service
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