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#VounteersWeek 2022: A time to say thanks

With just two months to go until Volunteers’ Week 2022, taking place 1-7 June, the organisers have shared the news that the theme for this year’s week-long celebration is ‘A time to say thanks’.

Volunteers’ Week is an annual event, now entering its 38th year. The week sees charities, voluntary groups, social organisations, and volunteers themselves come together to recognise the incredible impact that volunteering has in communities around the UK. This year’s Volunteer’s Week also coincides with celebrations to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The theme for this year - ‘A time to say thanks’ - encourages everyone to recognise the huge impact that people from all walks of life around the UK make on the lives of people and their communities when they volunteer.

Days throughout Volunteers’ Week 2022 will focus on a different theme linked to volunteering to ensure we recognise the impact that different types of volunteering have played in communities across the UK in the last 12 months. Each day is a chance to take the time to say thank you to volunteers across the UK - and the coordinators are calling for all charities and volunteers to get involved.

Every year hundreds of events, both online and in-person, take place to celebrate Volunteers’ Week and the huge range of ways in which volunteers give their time. This year will be no different. A wide variety of activities will be happening across the country including The Big Jubilee Lunch. The Big Jubilee Lunch is an opportunity for volunteers to come together online at their doorstep or in a park, guidelines permitting, to celebrate community connections, share volunteering experiences and mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and 70 years of service. You can find out more about how to get involved and get resources to plan your own thank you on the Volunteers’ Week website.

In communities, the pandemic response has seen volunteers coming together to support wherever they can - this can be seen in the 16.3 million people who formally volunteered in 2020/21. Nationally, volunteering contributes positively to the UK economy, estimated at £20 billion - or almost 1% of GDP - in 2017-18.

Sarah Vibert, CEO at NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations), which coordinates Volunteers’ Week in England, said:

“Volunteers’ Week is about recognising all of those who have continued delivering vital work as volunteers over the past 12 months, acknowledging the huge number of first-time volunteers in communities around the country, and also saying thank you to all those who usually volunteer but have not been able to because of the ongoing pandemic.
“Volunteers are always working at the heart of every UK community. It is hard to overstate the incredible impact they have made during an incredibly challenging year. The pandemic has rightly raised the profile of volunteering and more people than ever are aware of the immense contribution being made every single day by the amazing volunteers across the UK.
“We must ensure this recognition continues. That is why, on this 38th annual Volunteers’ Week and as we celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, it’s time to say: thank you volunteers!”

Denise Hayward, chief executive at Volunteer Now, which coordinates Volunteers’ Week in Northern Ireland, commented:

“Volunteers have continued to give so much time, energy, commitment and skills to the communities and organisations that they have supported through another difficult year. It is fitting that Volunteers Week 2022 will give everyone the opportunity to say 'Thank You' to everyone who has made a difference through their voluntary efforts."

Alan Stevenson, CEO at Volunteer Scotland, which coordinates Volunteers’ Week in Scotland, said:

“Volunteers improve our society through countless contributions each year. Within every local community, volunteering takes place formally, through the incredible work of organisations and groups but also informally through acts of kindness, between individuals (who are not friends and family). During Volunteers’ Week we must recognise the wide spectrum of volunteering. Thank you all, for your volunteering.”

Ruth Marks, chief executive at Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), which coordinates Volunteers’ Week in Wales, commented:

“We’ve always known the value of volunteering, but the pandemic has made it so that the whole world is more aware of the impact it has now. This week we give a heartfelt thank you to all volunteers - whether experienced or new to it - who have freely given their time and shared their skills to help drive positive change.”

Volunteers’ Week is taking place during the #MonthOfCommunity. Running throughout June, the #MonthOfCommunity brings together some great organisations with a range of events including Volunteers’ Week, The Big Jubilee Lunch and Small Charity Week, and in Thank You Day on 5 June. This collaborative month aims to encourage everyone to think about and join in with the wide variety of positive activities and initiatives happening in local communities across the UK.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors.

To find out more visit: www.volunteersweek.org

Follow on social media: #VolunteersWeek.

For media enquiries please contact NCVO: press@ncvo.org.uk

About Volunteers’ Week: Volunteers' Week is a long-standing, popular event in the voluntary sector, established in 1984 and now in its 38th year. It is supported and celebrated by small grassroots organisations as well as larger, household-name charities, who together run hundreds of events across the UK. These events showcase and celebrate volunteers and the contribution volunteering makes in our communities. Volunteers’ Week is led in partnership by NCVO, WCVA, Volunteer Scotland, and Volunteer Now.

UK volunteering facts: In 2020/21, 16.3 million (30%) people volunteered through a group at least once a year and over 9.2 million (17%) of people did so at least once a month. The most common reason overall for volunteering is wanting to improve things or help people (42%). In 2019/20, there were around 163,000 voluntary organisations in the UK, most of which rely on volunteers. In 2020/21, the voluntary sector contributed £20bn to the UK economy. This is equivalent to about 1% of GDP. 67% of volunteers give their time to charities and community groups, but many others also volunteer in the public and private sectors.

About NCVO: NCVO (the National Council for Voluntary Organisations) is the largest membership organisation for the voluntary sector in England. With 17,000+ members, NCVO represents all types of organisations, from large ‘household name’ charities to small voluntary and community groups involved at the local level. We are also the lead body for volunteering in England. www.ncvo.org.uk

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