To coincide with the coronation of King Charles III, organisations across the country are asking people to spare their time and skills to make a difference to their community.
So people can take part in The Big Help Out, Volunteer Centre Sutton brought together 26 organisations to showcase their volunteering opportunities.
Held at Sutton Central Library on Tuesday 18 April, over 130 people came along to talk charities like Age UK and Sutton Carers Centre. Community groups like Carshalton Lavender also joined.
We also heard from a range of speakers. For example, Dick, a volunteer from Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People and Councillor Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council.
Talking about the event, Anita Maullin, Chief Executive of Volunteer Centre Sutton said: “The Big Help Out is just the beginning of a long-term effort to encourage local residents to get involved in volunteering and community service.
“This event showcased only a small selection of the many available roles that can easily fit into anyone’s busy schedule. We encourage you to visit our website or speak with one of our advisors who can help you find the right opportunity”.
The Big Help Out is just the beginning of a long-term effort to encourage local residents to get involved in volunteering and community service.Anita Maullin
Bringing Sutton together
As well as providing opportunities for residents, it was a chance for different groups and organisations to come together and learn more about each other’s work.
This is key for Sarah, Operations Manager at People Arise Now, a charity which supports current and ex-offenders and their families: “As well as speaking to potential volunteers, it’s always amazing to see what’s going on and what I can refer people I work with to.”
NHS health checks
As well as charity stalls, arts and craft stations and other activities, NHS South West London ran blood pressure checks for anyone who wanted one.
Leanna, a Pharmacist for Central Sutton Primary Care Network who is specialising in blood pressure took over 10 people’s readings. By running important health checks at community events, we’re making it more convenient for people to use NHS services and speak to healthcare professionals.
Councillor Marian James, Health and Wellbeing Board Vice-Chair was one person who sat down for a blood pressure check. Talking about the event she said:
“This has been a really great volunteering event and thanks to the team for pulling it together. It’s been great to see so many people accessing a wide range of volunteer opportunities.
“Volunteering is key to maintaining not only our physical health but our mental wellbeing too. While here I also took the opportunity to have my blood pressure taken and pleased to say everything was good. I’m doing the right things to look after my health.”
Maxine, a retired Mental Health Nurse, also had her blood pressure checked. As well as talking to Maxine about her health, she explained why she was interested in volunteering:
“I’m retired and looking for something to do that is similar to my background. I knew there are people out there like me who need some support. Royal Marsden is particularly close to my heart and I have lots of experience in counselling. I’d love to do something where I’m greeting and welcoming people. Sometimes it’s just good to talk, especially at a hospital. And sometimes it’s easier to open up to someone you don’t know.”
Maxine took away details of volunteering opportunities of Royal Marsden charity and St Raphael’s Hospice.
Want to take part in The Big Help Out?
If like Maxine you want to get involved in volunteering take a look the opportunities available.Volunteering opportunities in Sutton