Connecting Elmbridge through volunteering
Feel connected with your community
“Volunteering connects you to your community”, that’s the message from Councillor Gill Coates, Portfolio holder for Community Care at Elmbridge Borough Council, at the launch of a yearlong campaign to encourage volunteering within the Elmbridge community.
“During the COVID pandemic our community spirit and desire to help others was outstanding and we have been immensely grateful for the volunteering support provided by residents around the borough.
“Our volunteers have collected prescriptions, shopped, delivered meals, been a listening ear, arranged support sessions, offered specialist advice, helped with food banks, reassured people at vaccine centres – the list goes on and on.
“I have delivered meals on wheels, so I have first-hand experience of the rewards that volunteering offers. For me it was the knowledge that I was helping people and alleviating their loneliness, as much as delivering meals. Others have gained work experience, grown in confidence, been given a purpose, or felt connected with their local community.”
These views are echoed by Sally Dubery, Chief Officer, Central Surrey Voluntary Action (CSVA). CSVA is a voluntary sector partner to Elmbridge Borough Council and has been integral in supporting the COVID support response in Elmbridge.
“Volunteering has so many benefits both for the volunteers and for the groups or charities they are supporting. Recently we had a lovely lady come to us, following the COVID lockdowns, she wanted to reconnect with the community and feel that her skills were being used once again. We introduced her to a foodbank, and it was an instant fit. She brought her skills, personality, and work experience to the group and both have benefitted hugely.
“We understand that some people are reluctant to volunteer as they feel it will be too time consuming or they will be restricted by the hours involved. However, volunteering provides real flexibility, for example, you could help a charity with their accounts a few times a year or if you want something two hours a week you could be a classroom mentor. We can always find a volunteering opportunity to suit you. Visit our website for more details on the opportunities in your local area.”
If you would like to know more, visit CSVA or Elmbridge Borough Council websites or you could call 01372722911 to find out more about opportunities close to you.