AN EVENT to recognise the work and raise awareness of Worthing’s 24,000 volunteers took place at the Guildbourne Centre last Wednesday.
As part of volunteers week Worthing’s volunteer co-ordination network set up a number of charity stalls in the foyer of the Centre and gave volunteers gift bags.
The event was keen to recognise the efforts of smaller charities well as big ones – from mums reading in schools and small groups such as Worthing Community House all the way through to organisations such as St. Barnabas House and Guildcare.
Cath Barry, Worthing volunteers service organiser, and Jo Tuck, from Guildcare, work together to co-ordinate the volunteers network.
Cath said: “We talk to people about volunteering, raise awareness and say thank you to the volunteers. Without them Worthing would come to a stand still.”
Jo added: “It’s doing something for the volunteers but in a public venue to raise awareness as well.”
Volunteers week ran from June 1 to June 7 all across the UK. The Worthing event was the first one of its kind in the town and the organisers hope to make it an annual event.
Mick Baldwin, a volunteer for the Independent Living Association said: “It’s a way of heightening awareness and telling people what services are available to them, particularly the elderley who may not be computer literate.”
John McHendry, a volunteer for the Queen Alexandra Hospital Home said: “When you are at a day like this you get a sense of camaraderie. I have just joined and it’s nice to get to know all the people who have been here a long time.”
The volunteer network’s next event will be the charities Christmas market at the Guildbourne Centre.