Interested in volunteering your time and helping your community? Come to the Sefton Hotel this Saturday
The Isle of Man’s first ever Volunteers’ Week begins this Saturday 1 March and proceedings will commence with a volunteer recruitment event in the Garden Room at the Sefton Hotel running between 10am and 2pm, with the public welcome to come along at any stage on a drop-in basis.
The recruitment event is the second to be held and follows last year’s hugely successful Volunteer Speed Dating event. In a twist on the theme, this year’s event will be based on the popular Happy Families card game, giving anyone interested in volunteering the opportunity to speak to a wide range of charities and find their own ‘happy family’.
Alison Lester, Volunteer Service Manager at Noble’s Hospital, who is spearheading the initiative, explained further: “Saturday will see over 30 voluntary and charitable organisations gather in the Garden Room at the Sefton Hotel. So many of the services provided on our Island rely on the dedication and selflessness of hundreds of people in our community. Without them, services offered by charities and other organisations simply couldn’t be delivered. And it’s not just the third sector, the Health Service and other areas of Government are highly dependent upon volunteers. So this week is about recognising the huge contribution they make to Island life, and also working with organisations that rely on volunteers; to provide a unique opportunity in which they can engage with the public and potentially recruit new volunteers.”
Alison continued: “We’re facilitating an opportunity for the public to find out more about the Island’s charities and voluntary organisations, and I would encourage as many people as possible to come along and find out more – it will be an informal, fun and friendly event. There’s absolutely no obligation whatsoever to take up a voluntary role. Some people may simply be curious about what volunteering entails, but may come away having deciding that it isn’t for them. Others, we hope, will find an organisation that resonates with their own life experiences, values or beliefs – such as someone who has been affected by cancer volunteering some time to help a cancer charity – and will come away having made contact with an organisation and taking it from there.
“The thing to remember is that volunteering offers opportunities for a wide variety of people, and these organisations require individuals with differing skills to match the wide variety of work they undertake. It could be helping to run a shop, welcoming visitors at a reception desk, or providing support services such as keeping a website up to date or helping with fundraising; so the opportunities are very broad indeed. And people can consider how much time they’re able to volunteer. You don’t have to be retired or not working to become a volunteer. Some people may only be able to offer an hour or two a month, others may have a few days a week they can spare. Juggling a diverse mix of skills, abilities and time commitments is part and parcel of being able to deliver charitable or voluntary services to the public; services upon which many of us may call upon at some stage of our lives and which wouldn’t exist without the goodwill of others.”
Other events throughout the week include a reception for representatives of some of the Island’s voluntary and charitable organisations at Government House, hosted by the Lieutenant Governor, His Excellency Mr Adam Wood. Hospice Isle of Man is running a ‘Feel Good Friday’ event in Elaine’s Coffee Shop at the Hospice between 10am and 2pm on Friday 7 March. There’ll also be various events at Noble’s Hospital including a service of Thanksgiving in the hospital Chapel on Friday 7 March at 2.00pm, and a series of ‘Back to the Floor’ sessions for senior management and staff. The week of celebrations will be rounded off with the annual Noble’s Hospital Volunteer of the Year award and buffet reception.
Anyone wanting to find out more can contact the Noble’s Hospital Volunteer Service on 650720 or by emailing Alison Lester on firstname.lastname@example.org.