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Gareth’s blog: Volunteers – the lifeblood of charities!

Last week was Volunteers Week, a good time to stop, reflect and consider the importance of volunteering to us here at Forget Me Not.

Built by volunteers

In 1998, our founder Linda (and our first volunteer!) sat around her kitchen table with a handful of friends (also volunteers!) to talk about the need for a children’s hospice in their local area.

Fast forward to today and we’re extremely lucky to have an army of over 400 (yes, that’s right, 400!) volunteers across the charity and in our shops.

Sustained by volunteers

Our volunteers support so many vital aspects of our charity – from fundraising and supporting our charity shops, to helping to run our reception or maintain the garden at Russell House to our estates team and supporting our care and family support team with events and activities – the list is endless. Of course our trustees and trading company directors are also volunteers and play a pivotal role in ensuring that the charity has a clear direction and strategy and is governed correctly.

The simple fact? Without this army of volunteers, we could not do what we do day in, day out to support families who need our help.

Volunteers also play a really important role as advocates for Forget Me Not. They help us to shout from the rooftops of their local communities about all of the brilliant things that our charity does to support children and families. That helps us reach more families who might need our care and more supporters who might help us raise the funds we need.

The simple fact? Without this army of volunteers, we could not do what we do day in, day out to support families who need our help.

Gareth Pierce, CEO

But we can never have enough volunteers

We know that we could double the amount of volunteers that we have and it still wouldn’t be enough. As the organisation grows, as we open more shops, as we get busier at Russell House, as families’ needs become more complex and as the need for us to bring in more money continues to grow, we’ll always need more volunteers.

I’ve personally volunteered for many, many years, mainly as a scout leader but also with lots of different charities and I know how rewarding it is. Through my volunteering, I’ve travelled the world, I met my wife, I’ve made friends for life and I’ve learnt so many new skills that will last a lifetime. But more importantly I know how good volunteering is for my wellbeing. It really is good for you!

Could you help?

If you think that there might be a volunteering role for you here at Forget Me Not and you’d like to hear more, or perhaps you already volunteer but could pass this message onto a few friends to encourage them to do the same, then get in touch, or take a look here to find out how you can volunteer.

This year, we’re investing in a new volunteer database that will help us to communicate and engage more effectively with volunteers. And we’re introducing more volunteer roles in our care and family support teams that will directly support families in a number of ways. Watch out for more details of this coming soon.

Lastly – I want to say thank you

Thank you to all of our amazing volunteers – you are making such an incredible difference to the work that we do, and we couldn’t be more grateful – you are all brilliant!

Thank you to all of our amazing volunteers – you are making such an incredible difference to the work that we do, and we couldn’t be more grateful – you are all brilliant!

Gareth Pierce, CEO