A big thank you to all of Bristol’s volunteers

Volunteers’ Week is back and it’s another chance for us to show our appreciation for the amazing contributions that Bristol’s volunteers have made throughout the year to life in our city. People giving their time to pursue something they love doing and to make our communities better places to live is the foundation of strong communities.

Thank you to everyone volunteering their time to support an organisation or individuals in our local community, what you do makes a big difference.

The national cost of living crisis has had, and still is having, a big impact on many of our communities. During the autumn and winter, volunteers from across our city played their part in supporting others. 

I’d like to thank the cost of living advice assistant volunteers from Citizens Advice Bristol who were trained to give people much-needed support in some of the city’s 105 Welcoming Spaces, on topics ranging from benefits, money management and housing. Thank you also to the Changes Bristol volunteers who have been supporting peer groups to support one another through worrying and difficult times. Many other voluntary partners were part of our One City winter response to the crisis, ensuring the right support was in place for those who needed it.

Many people also freely give time to support neighbours, family members and friends so thank you, too, for playing your part.

Of course, what everyone involved with volunteering knows is that it brings huge rewards and is one of the best things we can do for our health and wellbeing. If you have been supported by volunteers during the last year, perhaps you would like to join in with thanking them.

Why not visit our Wall of Thanks and leave a message for a person or organisation that has helped you? Or perhaps you are an organisation that gets support from volunteers and you want to thank them. Here are just a couple of messages that we’ve already received:

“Judit has been an inspiration to our neighbourhood. Not only does she give boundless energy and her time to improving our surroundings, with her infectious personality she inspires all those around her to want to get involved. She is living proof that together we can make a difference.” – Amrish

“On behalf of the forum, I want to thank each and every one of our volunteers from the bottom of our hearts for all that you’ve done. The last 18 months has been difficult at times but each of you has been unwavering in your support. This has meant families of children with special educations needs and/or disabilities in Bristol have revived vital support and signposting to support their families. This wouldn’t be possible without our team of volunteers. Here’s to the many more successful months and years ahead.” – Hayley, Bristol Parent Carers

For this year’s Volunteers’ Week, we have also been working in partnership with Voscur and Black South West Network (BSWN). Here is what they had to say about the efforts of Bristol volunteers:

Sado Jirde – Director of BWSN 

“Volunteers play a vital role within Bristol’s racial justice ecosystem. According to the Community Life Survey in 2020/21, Black people were the most likely to volunteer at least once a month and once a year. As a community organisation ourselves, BSWN firmly believe in the power of volunteering as a transformative force for positive change and creating an anti-racist society. Volunteers’ Week serves as a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the dedication, passion, and selflessness demonstrated by individuals who generously offer their time and skills to uplift others. 

“BSWN recognises the immense value of collaboration between organisations, government bodies, and community members in achieving collective goals. Volunteers’ Week serves as a platform to forge partnerships, build bridges, and create opportunities for diverse communities to come together, united by a common purpose.”

Rebecca Mear – CEO, Voscur

“Volunteers are the unsung heroes of civic life; the fact is that many of Bristol’s community organisations would cease to operate without them. Volunteers’ Week provides an opportunity to thank the local volunteers whose generous contribution – of their skills, experience, time and commitment – makes our society a thriving one.

“Through calm and crisis, volunteers provide dedicated support and expertise for the benefit of the people and communities of Bristol.

“For Volunteers’ Week this year, we celebrate everyone who volunteers, in whatever shape that takes. We know that volunteering rates in England are at an all-time low as a result of the pandemic (and the cost of living crisis) and so we at Voscur will play our part in ensuring that volunteering remains a fulfilling and enriching experience for those willing and able to take part.”

Two people are pictured, smiling while looking at eatchother.

If you feel inspired to volunteer, you can visit the Can Do Bristol or Voscur websites where there are a whole host of opportunities to get involved in, from working with the Salvation Army twice a month or volunteering your time to work at St. Peter’s Hospice.

Everyone has something to offer and there is something for everyone!

Find out more about Volunteers’ Week.