Celebrating Bi Volunteering

Volunteers across the UK are being thanked for their efforts as part of a range of events to mark Volunteers’ Week 2016 which runs – slightly confusingly – from 1 to 12 June.

Charities, community groups and other organisations are holding events to thank their volunteers for the contribution they make. Events will include awards ceremonies, barbecues, roadshows and tea parties. Last year over 750 events were held across the country – up from 500 the year before.

There are no “paid staff” working for bi organisations across the UK, most of which are run on tiny budgets of tens or hundreds of pounds each year.

BCN magazine ran a feature a while ago with lots of ideas of ways you can get involved in bi volunteeringwhether you have ten minutes to spare just now, a day every week, or anything in between.

The annual Volunteers’ Week campaign, established in 1984, seeks to recognise the contribution millions of volunteers make to our communities every week and showcase opportunities available for people to get involved. This year, for the first time, volunteers are encouraged to share their stories and experiences on social media using the hashtag #ivolunteer, to raise awareness and encourage others to participate.

More than 15m people volunteer in the UK every month – and 21 million people volunteer at least once a year, which contributes an estimated £23.9bn to the UK economy. Behind these big numbers is a big contribution.

“But twelve days is not a week”, you might complain. And you’re right.  This year the organisers are giving the week an additional five days enabling more people than ever to take part and more time to celebrate. The end of Volunteers’ Week will coincide with the Patron’s Lunch on 12 June, a celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s lifetime of service to more than 600 charities and organisations to which The Queen acts as a Patron, on the occasion of her 90th birthday.

Bi organisations might like to use the week to showcase the range of volunteering opportunities available as well as celebrating their existing volunteers. There’s huge range of ways people can help bi projects but sometimes people aren’t aware of them or they have a particular perception of what volunteering is about. Why not challenge these perceptions?