Volunteer for Hackney this New Year
From planting bulbs, to befriending and even baking bread - there are hundreds of different ways you can get involved and make a difference in your community through volunteering this New Year.
Hackney Council and Volunteer Centre Hackney are joining forces to run a month-long campaign to promote volunteering across the borough. Volunteer Centre Hackney is the borough’s go-to place for residents to find out how they can help out in the community. Last year the service helped over 1,400 people find out about volunteering opportunities.
Mayor Philip Glanville has made volunteering one of the Council’s key priorities:
I am passionate that community action is central to responding to some of the biggest challenges we face in the borough. This isn’t about replacing the role of professionals or the public sector, but increasing the collective positive impact we can all make, Hackney’s volunteers change lives, and make this borough the thriving and wonderful place it is. I hope that all of our residents can get involved with volunteering in some way and be a positive force for change in their communities.
Even if you have only one hour a week, or can only help out on a one-off basis, volunteering can be very flexible. From helping to design a flyer for a few hours, to meeting someone for a coffee on a Saturday morning for several months there are many ways you can use your time.
Clair Battaglino, a co-founder of the LGBTQI+ gardening club Rainbow Grow said: “Rainbow Grow is a really friendly, welcoming group. So get in touch and find out more about how you can get involved whether you’d like to drop in & garden occasionally, volunteer on a regular basis, share a skill you have, learn something new or just spent a couple of hours in a lovely green space.”
As well as making a difference to people around you, volunteering is also an opportunity to increase your confidence, develop new skills and find employment.
Paulina Tamborrel, volunteer at Xenia women’s group, said: “I first participated in the Xenia workshops a year ago, thinking I would help migrant women, like myself, to practice their English and better integrate. I never anticipated how much I would get out of the sessions – in addition to being a time for learners to practice English, Xenia is a safe space for women of all walks of life to converse, make friends and grow a common understanding of life, womanhood, culture and friendship.”
Volunteers are key to maintaining social cohesion in Hackney, challenging the inequalities we face and supporting those who need help most. I hope more people are encouraged to volunteer. Even one person can make a big difference.
To find out more about volunteering and how to get involved, you can visit www.vchackney.org and register to search 100s of volunteer roles, or call to make a face to face appointment on 020 7241 4443.
You can also follow Volunteer Centre Hackney on Facebook or on Twitter by following @VCHackney or search #volunteerhackney.
You can also meet charities in person at one of VCH’s free quarterly Volunteer Fairs. The next fair is taking place on Tuesday 23 January at Hackney Museum from 5pm to 7pm. With a selection of inspiring charities showcasing their opportunities, you will be able to meet and speak with many of Hackney’s diverse charities, and discover how to help make a difference locally. Volunteer Fairs will run throughout the year on 26 April, 6 June, 11 October.