Cornwall is said to have one of the highest volunteering rates in the country
Thursday 9th May, 2019
Cornwall is said to have one of the highest volunteering rates in the country and Volunteer Cornwall, based at Newham and Port of Truro has a passion for helping people to support and benefit from this rewarding role.
The charity believes that there are an estimated 140,000 volunteers in Cornwall – equating to a workforce of 14,000 full time employees who boost the county-wide economy by around £500million every year.
Building connections in communities from Sennen to Saltash, Volunteer Cornwall offers support for people through a range of schemes including alleviating loneliness, a stroke befriending service, environmental volunteering to clear the Cornish coast paths and community transport for people who find it hard to get around. The organisation, which has offices in Redruth and Liskeard as well as Newham, also offers a range of training schemes including leadership and management courses.
Helping to promote the role of volunteering across the county, with a particular focus on health and well-being, Volunteer Cornwall has recently welcomed Ali Bowser to the organisation as Health and Wellbeing Volunteering Officer.
Ali explained that her aim was to ensure volunteers for every opportunity and an opportunity for every volunteer. She said: "I am really excited to be taking up this role in a time when volunteering is growing in popularity. There are still some people, however, who think volunteering is formal and inflexible, meaning you have to commit to doing the same thing regularly."
She added that there are many types of volunteering roles available around the county, with volunteering roles that can be informal and ad hoc. "It might be something done independently, such as collecting shopping for a neighbour or something carried out as a team, for example a corporate business dedicating a day as a team to help a local project, such as transforming a garden together," she added.
Volunteering is hugely important for those who benefit from it and is also a very rewarding experience for those volunteering. Ali added that research from a recently published report commissioned by the Royal Voluntary Service, showed that first-time volunteers gained health benefits. A total of 77% of those asked said they felt more useful and 70% reported that they felt more fulfilled by volunteering.
"Volunteering benefits the recipient, as well as the volunteer themselves. So everyone gains," Ali added.
The list of current opportunities available can be found at www.do-it.org, although not every voluntary group or organisation will use this to advertise their vacancies. Ali advises that if you don’t find anything that interests you among the thousands of opportunities on the site, then follow up with any relevant organisation as they may have other schemes available.
For more information, visit www.volunteercornwall.org.uk, call Ali direct on 01872 266984 or visit the charity on social media via Twitter @volcornwall, Instagram volunteercornwall and VolunteerCornwall Facebook page.