BUSINESSES and charities from across Stratford have come together to host a free Volunteer Fair.
It will give residents the opportunity to find out more about the range of volunteering opportunities available across the region.
The event will take place on Saturday May 7 in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Avonbank Gardens.
Led by Stratford Children and Family Partnership – a collaboration of family-centred organisations, charities and businesses, who work together to improve the services to families in the area, – the event will aim to spread the word about the importance of volunteering and will feature contributions from local organisations and charities who will be on hand to share details of opportunities.
Participating organisations include Barnardo’s, Home Start South Warwickshire, Little Bird Baby Bank, Escape Arts, Life Space, New Meaning, Parenting Project, Stratford Time Bank, Stratford Town Trust, Team Springboard, The Royal Shakespeare Company and Warwickshire CAVA.
Emma Gurdag, chair of the Stratford Children and Family Partnership and family support manager of Home Start South Warwickshire, said: “Many charities are struggling to fill their volunteering vacancies when the need for their services is higher than ever.
“Still reeling from the effects of the pandemic and now having to navigate the cost of living crisis, many families are feeling the strain, and need extra help from voluntary and charity organisations more than ever.
“Volunteers are the lifeblood of our service. They are the ones who work directly with the families we support and offer their time, skills and compassion to help families going through their most difficult times.
“Without volunteers, our service couldn’t operate, and many families would be without the support they need, be that parenting, practical or emotional support.
“At Home Start South Warwickshire our waiting list of families needing support grows week-on-week and we just don’t have the volunteers available to help them. We don’t want to turn families away, and we are adding to our list of services to offer alternatives, but our core offer of 1-2-1 Family Support Volunteers remains central to our operation and we will always need Volunteers who can commit to supporting a family 1-2-1 to provide the tailored and family-led help they need and that is so effective.”
Nicola Salmon, RSC creative placemaking and public programmes officer said there were many different opportunites.
“Many people don’t realise there are different ways to volunteer and the traditional role that might have consisted of weekly hours in charity retail, for example, is far from the only way to volunteer.
“At the RSC you can join us for opportunities including, visitor counting, community projects, gardening and more. The hours are flexible and can work around you. Volunteering can be a dynamic, rewarding way to give back to your community – with great benefits to your CV and your mental wellbeing. We’re really pleased to be hosting this event and supporting our local community.”
Visit www.rsc.org.uk/events/volunteer-fair for further details.