What would we do without volunteers?
I recently attended the Volunteer Expo at the Guildhall. It was a delight, as Mayor of Worcester, to speak to and thank some of the stall holders.
I must confess I’ve been on something of a journey with my thinking about charities and volunteering. I used to think, why are we papering over the cracks in support services that have perhaps in the past been provided by the government? Maybe I’m mellowing as I get older, but I’ve come to realise, especially after talking to people like Sally Ellison of Worcester Community Action, that those who give time and money actually receive something very valuable too.
Don’t get me wrong, you have to be in a fairly good financial, emotional and physical position to have the luxury of doing something for others. But if you are in that fortunate position, donating time or money is so rewarding – perhaps it’s just that feeling of empowerment and making a personal difference to something you care about.
So I was very pleased to join more than 300 people at the Volunteer Expo and to see all the many organisations that contribute so much to Worcester – from the South Worcestershire Archaeological Group to Victim Support, and from National Trust to Age UK. The Expo has been running, in various forms, for more than 25 years and it was good to see that attendance numbers were up again after the understandable dip caused by the pandemic.
Age UK Worcester and Malvern Hills is the subject of my Mayor’s charity appeal and I’m pleased to say that you can now make a donation to it at www.worcester.gov.uk/mayor.
On the same day as the Volunteer Expo it was sadly also the funeral of Cllr Simon Cronin. He will be greatly missed by everyone who know him. As one councillor said in an obituary, “it must have taken him ages to walk from one end of the High Street to the other such were the many people who would stop him for a chat.”