Volunteers’ Week 2016 – The Big Celebration to thank volunteers

Events are being planned across the country to mark Volunteers' Week 2016, taking place 1-12 June. The annual campaign, which was established in 1984, recognises the contribution volunteers make to our communities every day. This year it has been extended by an additional five days, enabling more people than ever to take part.

Charities across the UK will hold events to thank their volunteers and celebrate the power of volunteering to bring communities together. Last year more than 750 events took place, from awards ceremonies to tea parties and barbecues.

For many charities the week will also be a chance to showcase the range of volunteering opportunities on offer. Many organisations will be developing short-term, flexible or remote volunteering placements to encourage people to take part who normally wouldn't be able to commit and to help them play a bigger role in their communities.

The end of Volunteers' Week will coincide with The Patron's Lunch on Sunday 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. Communities across the UK (and the Commonwealth) will be encouraged to participate by holding their own street party or event, and to use this opportunity to support their local communities through fundraising or giving of time.

More than 21m people volunteer in the UK at least once a year. Volunteering contributes an estimated £23.9bn to the UK economy, equivalent to over 1.5% of GDP.

Justin Davis Smith, director of volunteering at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, which coordinates Volunteers' Week in England, said:

'Volunteers' Week is a time to celebrate the people in our communities who volunteer, giving their time and energy to help a whole multitude of causes.

'Last year saw more than 750 events take place as charities and voluntary groups got together to thank their volunteers. We hope that this bigger week of events and celebrations will encourage even more to take part – whether that's by recognising the people that already given so much, or encouraging people to try volunteering for the first time.

'We're delighted that the week has been extended to coincide with The Patron's Lunch. The Queen sets an incredible example of service. More than 600 organisations have benefitted from The Queen's patronage and we hope that communities across the country will get involved in the occasion by joining together for their own Big Celebration.'


1. Find out more and view a map of the events taking place

Visit www.volunteersweek.org and follow # volunteersweek

2. For more information, regional statistics and interview requests

Contact Kristen Stephenson

Telephone 020 7520 3154
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

3. For more information on The Patron's Lunch

Visit www.thepatronslunch.com and follow @thepatronslunch

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