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Volunteers' Week Write-up 2017

8 June 2017

This year’s Volunteers' Week 2017 theme was appropriately named 'You make the difference'. At a time where services are being cut back and resources squeezed, volunteers really do make a huge difference.
Many services wouldn’t exist without volunteers - such as befriending, volunteer drivers who take people people who can't use public transport to medical appointments, and local charity shops, playgroups, lunch clubs, heritage organisations, sports organisations, self help and community groups must be mentioned too! These services in themselves hold an immense value for those who rely on them - where would they be without them? So if you volunteer, you should be immensely proud of what you do.
Each year we hold a Volunteers' Week thank-you event which is free and is open to anyone who volunteers in South Derbyshire.  This year's theme was a Summer Tea Party, held at the local Town Hall in Swadlincote. Despite the cold and rainy days preceding the event, the weather held out for a sunny but windy day, which simply made the bunting outside look all the better for dancing in the breeze! There was tea, a rather large cake, and plenty of strawberries since they're in season now. We also dabbled in our first attempt at summer drinks - possibly something to work on for future years, as the recipe for the 'tropical fizz' wasn't quite right!
Over 50 volunteers attended this year. It was fantastic to see the Town Hall full with such a buzz. As something a little different this year, we decided to try a 'sound bite' room to record volunteers' experiences.  We were inspired by Radio 4's 'The Listening Project' and wanted to see if we could capture our interviewees' thoughts and feelings regarding volunteering - watch this space to see the videos once they're finished.
Aside from catching up with other volunteers, we had music, games and plant pots for people to decorate - the results looked pretty spectacular from those who completed theirs.
Finally, we took the opportunity to introduce the South Derbyshire Community Awards which are being sponsored by Toyota and will held at Burton-on-Trent Golf Club later this year. We're really looking forward to giving the people and local organisations who are so dedicated to their community the recognition they deserve!
There are six categories which people can be nominated for -
Long Service Award
Unsung Hero
Young Volunteer of the Year
Volunteer Team of the Year
Compassionate Company
Local Charity or Voluntary Group
Keep an eye on our website as the details will be released soon - 

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