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Charities highlight need for volunteers
‘WE need you’ – that was the message from Basingstoke charities to the hundreds of people who attended an annual volunteering showcase.
Representatives from 30 different charities and voluntary groups were on hand at a Volunteer Awareness Day in The Malls to demonstrate what their organisations have to offer, and members of the public had a chance to register their interest in signing up to volunteer.
Helping to man a stand for Basingstoke Rape and Sexual Abuse Crisis Centre was Annette, who was recruited when she herself attended the annual event two years ago.
She has been volunteering for the charity ever since, and said: “It is very rewarding. It can be hard but knowing you have made a difference to just one person is all you really need to do to make it all worthwhile.”
Also among the stalls at the event was one representing Sebastian’s Action Trust, which runs The Bluebells, North Waltham – a purpose-built facility which offers respite holidays and more for very sick children and their families.
Debbie Loveridge, Sebastian’s Action Trust community fundraiser and volunteer co-ordinator, said the charity, formed in July last year, was keen to attend the event to raise its profile and to attract potential community fundraising groups in the area.
She said: “As a new charity, we want to reach out to parents we may be able to help and also to make people aware of the work we do.
“We need all sorts of people to volunteer for us in various roles as we are trying to set up community fundraising groups in the area. Anyone can volunteer.”
The volunteering event is a joint venture between Basingstoke Voluntary Services and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.
BVS chief executive Rebecca Kennelly said the event enabled organisations to reach out to sections of the community who otherwise would not have heard of them.
She said: “There’s such a lot to be gained from volunteering – new skills, experience, friendship, fun and great satisfaction.”
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