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26th March 2023

Volunteers step into the spotlight as week of gratitude planned across the UK

This year marks the 40th anniversary of ‘Volunteers’ Week’ – a UK-wide celebration that shines a light on the incredible impact that volunteers make in communities.

Led by the UK Volunteering Forum (Volunteer Scotland in Scotland), a programme of celebratory activities and events has been unveiled for Volunteer’s Week (3rd – 9th June 2024) which will bring together charities, voluntary groups, social organisations, and volunteers in recognition of their contribution to society.

As well as a crucial opportunity to thank volunteers and recognise the value of their time, passion and skills, Volunteers’ Week also acts as a chance to inspire others to give volunteering a go.

Many will take in awards ceremonies, coffee mornings and days out during the week. Festivities will then culminate with ‘The Big Help Out’, aimed at encouraging even more people to become part of the volunteering community.

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Alan Stevenson, CEO at Volunteer Scotland, which coordinates Volunteers’ Week in Scotland, said:

“Happy 40th anniversary, Volunteers’ Week! This is an amazing milestone for a campaign that recognises the diversity of our volunteers and celebrates the difference that volunteering makes in Scotland and across the UK. This year, Volunteers’ Week is celebrating in style with a revamped brand and new ways to get involved. It has a fresh look but a consistent message—join us and let's celebrate volunteers and volunteering this Volunteers' Week.”

Sarah Vibert, CEO at NCVO (the National Council for Voluntary Organisations), which coordinates Volunteers’ Week in England, said:

“Across the country, all year round, and in a million ways, volunteers make an enormous contribution to their communities. In the 40th year of Volunteers’ Week, we have a chance to celebrate the impact of their tireless efforts and say a big thank you for all they do. Now more than ever it is important to recognise those who selflessly give up their time to help others and inspire even more people to take up a volunteering opportunity for a cause they're passionate about. We can’t wait celebrate the power volunteering has to bring communities together and be part of recognising the immense impact they have for the people they help.”

Denise Hayward, chief executive at Volunteer Now, which coordinates Volunteers’ Week in Northern Ireland, commented:

“For 40 years, Volunteers’ Week has provided a focus point for us to put our incredible volunteers into the spotlight, to acknowledge, thank and celebrate their incredible work within communities in Northern Ireland. Volunteers simply don’t seek out thanks – it is not in their nature - so it is wonderful to publicly recognise the time, care and support they offer so generously. Volunteers literally change lives and our communities are richer because of them. We hope this week of grateful celebration encourages more people to become volunteers and experience the many benefits of doing so.”

Ruth Marks, chief executive at Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), which coordinates Volunteers’ Week in Wales, commented:

“Volunteers’ Week is always a special time of year, it’s so important to take a moment to recognise and thank everyone who gives their time to help out in their communities with charities and other good causes.”