Time to celebrate county volunteers

North Yorkshire County Council will be celebrating the county's strong volunteering culture in June as part of national volunteers week.

Volunteers - the "yarn bombers"

The council wishes to thank thousands of volunteers and community organisations across North Yorkshire who provide crucial help in delivering and enhancing services such as children's centres, libraries and the county record office.

"We're incredibly fortunate in North Yorkshire to have a host of vibrant groups and active volunteers who work tirelessly to improve life for local people" said Neil Irving, assistant director for central services.

"We are therefore very glad to have the occasion to show our appreciation for the commitment and enthusiasm of the volunteers who give up their time to make North Yorkshire a better place."

"Volunteers in the county have, amongst other things, helped keep all of our community libraries open and thriving, provided a wealth of activities and support for young people and families and provided help to older and more vulnerable people to remain involved and active within their community."

Volunteers week runs from June 1 to 7 in recognition of 22 million people who volunteer in the UK. In North Yorkshire a wide range of community organisations and individual volunteers make a huge contribution to lives across the county from working with the major incident response team offering support after a serious incident to promoting waste reduction and helping to keep public rights of way clear.

Increasing numbers of people are stepping forward as volunteers; last year's county council citizen's panel survey revealed that nearly half of respondents had volunteered over the last 12 months.

In recognition of this contribution the County Council has invited nominations for their annual community awards scheme.  The awards, which are now in their third year, acknowledge  and celebrate voluntary work by individuals and organisations countywide. Nominations will remain open until June 14.

The County Council has set up a Stronger Communities team which works with groups and the voluntary sector to establish local community run services. "People volunteer for a number of reasons" said Marie-Ann Jackson, Head of Stronger Communities." For some it's a chance to meet new people and make a difference in their communities. For others volunteering gives them the opportunity to develop new skills and gain valuable work experience."

The county council offers a variety of volunteering opportunities including:

  • countryside volunteering for anyone who wants to help maintain access to the countryside and support nature conservation. This would include rights of way inspections, surveys and low-level maintenance;
  • the Rotters group which helps the environment through promoting composting and recycling at home. Training is on offer as well as the chance to meet people, attend shows,  events, talks  and demonstrations;
  • library volunteers to deliver children's activities and information technology support as well as the Home Library and Information Service which provides a free home delivery service for people who because of ill health or disability cannot get to the library or carry books.

People can find out about volunteering opportunities in North Yorkshire online at www.northyorks.gov.uk/volunteering.

For more information about the community awards  go to www.northyorks.gov.uk/communityawards. Nominations close on 14 June 2017.

This story was published 26 May 2017