AN appeal has been launched for more people to volunteer their time and services at an advice bureau.
Bosses at Hartlepool Citizens’ Advice Bureau, in the town’s Park Road, say they “never quite” have enough volunteers and have made the appeal to coincide with national volunteers week.
It comes as four out of five people in a new survey say volunteering boosts their health.
Volunteering also helps boost employability, self-esteem and health, according to a new report published today by Citizens Advice to mark Volunteers’ Week.
The report, called ‘CAB volunteering – how everyone benefits’ also reveals that six in 10 people who give their time to the Citizens Advice service feel less stressed as a result, while the research also found volunteering can be “particularly beneficial for people who suffer with mental health problems”.
During the 2013 calendar year 30 volunteers gave up their time to the Hartlepool Citizens’ Advice to help that organisation provide its various services.
Nationally, more than 22,000 volunteers gave up their time to help people in Citizens’ Advice Bureaux, resulting in more than £100m of volunteering hours.
The new report follows the launch last week of the charity’s new Advice for the Future campaign, calling on people to pledge their support for free and impartial advice.
Janet Noble, the Bureau’s recruitment and training officer, said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Hartlepool Citizens Advice Bureau.
“They make a huge contribution to the local community here in Hartlepool helping to support people each year when they need it the most.
“Now, these figures reveal the benefits that volunteers can expect to see themselves.
“Our volunteers help us to deliver a high-quality service.
“As a token of our appreciation and gratitude for our great team of volunteers, each of them has received a letter from the Chairman of the Trustee Board Mr Edwin Jeffries, thanking them for the contribution they make to our service.”
The report also found:
• 9 in 10 people reported an increased sense of purpose or self-esteem
• 4 in 5 believe that they have increased their employability
• 9 in 10 feel more engaged in their community
• 9 in 10 feel better equipped and empowered to deal with issues in their lives with 4 in 5 also helping friends and family.
Mrs Noble added: “We never quite have enough volunteers to help us so if anybody was interested in joining us as a volunteer, I can arrange an initial informal meeting with him/her and provide full details of our training and what we expect from volunteers.”
Volunteers’ Week is an annual event celebrating the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK and this year, it takes place between June 1 and 7.
For more information call (01429) 408417 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.