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Projects celebrate volunteers' hard work

Hope Volunteers

During Volunteer Week and beyond, Father Hudson’s and its partner projects celebrated the amazing work of those who give their time to help others.

Without the hard work and dedication of volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to make a difference to people in need. By giving their time, volunteers enable homeless people to find a safe place to sleep at night, help older people stay active and happy, offer friendship to asylum seekers and refugees, help children and young people to fulfil their potential – and much more!

Projects across the Archdiocese held special events to thank their volunteers and give something back to the people who give so much.

In Birmingham, St Chad’s Sanctuary organised a celebratory picnic in the beautiful surroundings of Cannon Hill Park. The sun shone on the group as they enjoyed sharing food and each other’s company. This was a wonderful way to thank volunteers who help provide a welcome to refugees in Birmingham.

The Young at Heart project in North Staffordshire shared volunteer stories on Facebook, shining a light on just some of the many people who help them tackle the social isolation experienced by  older people. It also held training for volunteer befrienders on lone working and dementia awareness. Mark Porter, Young at Heart project manager, is a Dementia Friends Champion. He said, “We owe such a lot to our volunteers, and couldn’t do the fantastic work that we do without them. Our volunteer befrienders who visit people isolated in their own homes are an important part of the project as they bring the world to someone who can’t get out and is lonely. We want to empower all our volunteers to become Dementia Friends. Then, armed with this understanding, they can help our beneficiaries even more.”

Hope Community in Wolverhampton organised a volunteer promotion and recruitment session at Wednesfield Library. Margaret Vaughan, Volunteer Co-ordinator, invited the Volunteer Co-ordinator from Wolverhampton council and workers from St Giles Trust based in New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton. They were joined by Hope volunteers, Teodora and Sharlene. Margaret said, “Teodora and Sharlene were both enthusiastic about their involvement in the event and were eager to speak with people on the day. Later the same day we had a celebration at Hope, which included a buffet, drinks and music. The trustees joined us after their board meeting to meet the volunteers. All in all it was a busy but successful day.”

/media/news/library/01-e-sj-balfour-beatty-vinci-volunteers.jpgStaff from Balfour Beatty Vinci working to upgrade the nearby M6 into a smart motorway visited St Joseph’s Care Home in Coleshill where they transformed the sun lounge at Pearl Wing. The group had previously helped decorate the chapel for residents and visitors to have a peaceful place for reflection and worship. The residents were delighted with the result.

Many of Brushstrokes’ volunteers received long service certificates from the Sandwell Volunteer Centre. These awards honoured Brushstrokes volunteers who provide English lessons and who serve in the resources and catering facilities. Brushstrokes continued the celebrations by presenting other volunteers with their food safety and advice training certificates. Martin McNally, Volunteer Co-ordinator, said, “We’d like to say a huge thanks to all our volunteers, without whom we would be unable to be an effective force in enhancing the lives of vulnerable people across our borough.”

Anawim held a shared lunch for their volunteers who enable them to support vulnerable women. Volunteers could have facials, massages and take part in a relaxation session.

And Tabor House held a celebration day for its team of volunteers who support  people experiencing homelessness. Sharon McCall, Volunteer Co-ordinator at Tabor House, said, “Tabor House is proud and honoured to have such a fantastic group of volunteers who give up their time to support the project every day of the year. The dedication provided is very much appreciated by the staff team and, of course, our guests, who the volunteers all go that extra mile for.” 

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If you are interested in volunteering for any of the projects mentioned, please contact:

St Chad’s Sanctuary: view a list of current volunteering opportunities

Young at Heart: call 01782 269990

Hope Community: download a volunteering application form 

St Joseph’s Care Home: Call 01675 434500

Brushstrokes: download an expression of interest form

Anawim: call 0121 440 5296

Tabor House: contact Sharon McCall on 0121 647 5106.

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