Every year the first week of June is Volunteers’ Week, the week is a chance to thank volunteers and celebrate the difference that volunteering makes to the community. The Diocese has over 750 social action projects running in parishes, many of which couldn’t run without the help of volunteers. These projects range from foodbanks, to befriending groups, to night shelters, and all have a huge impact to those that use their services.
A report from the National Council of Voluntary Organisations found that 60% of people volunteer at least once a month, with 16-25 year olds being the age group most likely to volunteer. In 2016 Volunteering was worth £22.6billion to the UK economy. In a time of funding cuts to many projects, the need for volunteers is critical.
Pope Francis calls us to ‘take care of your most vulnerable brothers and sisters, and work for peace’ and Catholic Social Teaching compels us to put our faith into action to help others, and build communities. At Caritas Westminster we work with parishes to help them develop social action projects that benefit the local community, but we rely on people volunteering to keep the projects running once they are established. Volunteering has many benefits, as well as making a difference to people in need, it can help you to make new friends and feel more embedded in your community, give you new skills for your C.V. and even boost your well-being!
Thank you to all you wonderful volunteers across the Diocese who give up your time and energy to help in the work of the church.
If you’d like to use your gifts and talents to help others, take a look at the Caritas Volunteer Service: www.caritaswestminster.org.uk/volunteer to find a range of volunteering roles aimed at the Catholic community. Or join Caritas Westminster for a Volunteer Fair on Tuesday 5th of June. More information at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/caritas-volunteer-fair-tickets-44373343866