Celebrating Volunteers' Week with the Garden City Collection

Volunteers’ Week, a UK wide campaign, takes place 1-7 June every year and sees organisations, charities and voluntary groups celebrating the fantastic contributions that volunteers make around the country, and we are excited to celebrate the brilliant work our volunteer team does for us!

At the Garden City Collection we currently have a dedicated group of 20 volunteers who provide invaluable help in a number of ways. Working in small teams, across each week, they help to process donations and acquisitions to our historical collection including cataloguing, locating and scanning. This all contributes to filling our website www.gardencitycollection.com full of amazing Letchworth stories.

They also provide excellent support for our social media content on our Facebook (facebook.com/gardencitycollection) and Twitter (twitter.com/GC_Collection) pages, sourcing images and writing captions. Finally, our most recent group are working directly with the local community, as part of our Sharing Memories project (more information here letchworth.com/blog/sharing-memories-using-the-past-to-enrich-the-present)

We recruit new volunteers to help fulfil certain roles, matching their skills appropriately, and provide training and support so that they can potentially develop new skills, as well as a deeper knowledge of the history of the world’s first garden city - Letchworth!

We’ve asked our volunteers to fill out a ‘I Volunteer’ sign for Volunteers’ Week, to capture perhaps why they started volunteering or why they enjoy it. See below for a few lovely examples.

As a small staff team, without the time and assistance provided by our volunteers, we would struggle to complete vital tasks, such as cataloguing new items, in good time. So, we are very grateful to them all, past and present – thanks team!

Future Plans for the Heritage Foundation

Volunteering is something that the Heritage Foundation will be looking at in detail in 2019, with a Volunteer Strategy to be launched by the end of this year. This will focus not just on how volunteers can help in all the work we do for the people of Letchworth Garden City, but what those opportunities can achieve for the volunteers themselves. Whether it’s hungry early-career youngsters supercharging their CVs, helping people experience or return to the workplace or experienced retirees hoping to stay connected and give something back. Watch this space as our Strategy develops.

Volunteers’ Week in Herts

Locally, #TeamHerts Volunteering and North Herts CVS are also celebrating Volunteers’ Week, with a Volunteers Fair and Thank You event on 6th June at Mrs Howard Hall.

For more information and how to attend please visit here teamherts.org/get-ready/events/volunteers-week-volunteer-fair-thank-you-event/ or book your place directly here - eventbrite.co.uk/e/volunteer-fair-thank-you-event-tickets-59706343280

To finish, here are some great quotes from NCVO who organise Volunteers’ Week

“In 2017/18, 20.1 million people in the UK volunteered formally at least once a year and one in five (11.9 million) people did so at least once a month.”

“Over ¾ of volunteers say that their volunteering improves their mental health and wellbeing”

“The most common reason people give for why they volunteer is to improve things and to help others.”

Learn more about Volunteers’ Week here - volunteersweek.org/