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Join Medway Voluntary Action In Celebrating National Volunteers Week 2022

There has never been a better time for us to show gratitude and appreciation for Medway’s Volunteers and Voluntary Sector organisations after their ongoing outstanding contributions towards our communities over the last 12 months.

Volunteers Week takes place between the 1st and 7th of June every year and is a chance to recognise the fantastic contribution volunteers make to local communities and residents in Medway and of course to say thank you. Volunteers’ Week is a time to say thanks and it goes without saying that local volunteers have played a key role in helping Medway’s charities to survive and now recover in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

For Volunteers Week this year MVA are delighted to announce the launch of their new ‘Employer Supported Volunteering Campaign’ for local organisations in Medway. Employer Supported Volunteering Programs (aka Corporate Volunteering) are a great way for employers to engage employees, meet corporate social responsibility goals, all whilst supporting local causes and communities in Medway.

MVA have produced a new FREE information pack about Employer Supported Volunteering and will soon be carrying out FREE online ‘Discovery’ Workshops for local organisations to find out more and get involved.

Becky Farley, Director of community Engagement at Mid-Kent College, who have just launched their Employer Supported Volunteering program said:

“We are all very excited about the development of our new employer volunteering program. It is a key element of the strategic priorities for MidKent College and our ongoing commitment to support our local communities. Staff at MidKent College have all chosen their own charities and community focused projects that they want to support on our first Community Day and they are all incredibly keen to get started. As an employer, it also presents us with a unique opportunity to further support our staff wellbeing and gives our teams a chance to utilise the wealth of skills and experience in a different way. This is the first year we have and we have had a Community Day and already we have noticed a genuine and positive energy amongst the team and from the charities that they are supporting”.

This year MVA are also celebrating Charity Trustees, often known as the ‘hidden volunteers’. Trustees play a crucial role behind the scenes in the leadership and development of charities and are often overlooked when it comes to time to say thanks. With this in mind, MVA have pulled together a series of information packs that generally ‘demystify’ the role of trustees, highlight the benefits of becoming one and the importance and benefits that diversity can bring to a trustee board.

Lisa Michalowicz, Volunteering Officer at MVA, said:

“Becoming a Trustee is a fantastic way to give something back to a local cause that you care about, all whilst gaining valuable experience and learning new skills within a leadership role”.

Satinder Shokar, Trustee at Sahara - a local support group for South East Asian residents in Medway , said:

“Diversity jolts us into cognitive action in a way that homogeneity can’t. As a new trustee I’m really excited about having the opportunity to shape future developments and services for minority groups in Medway”.

Rupa Sen, CEO at Medway Diversity Forum when asked about the importance of diversity added:

“It is important to have a diverse Trustee Board to make the organisation stronger and more inclusive. It helps the organisation to increase their reach and productivity by establishing relationships with seldom heard groups".

MVA are also keen to share individual volunteer stories through their #MedwayHeroes campaign. Every volunteer has a story to tell and MVA are giving them the opportunity to tell the world what volunteering means to them. These stories will be on display online throughout Volunteers Week at www.mva.org.uk/volunteering and #MedwayHeroes.

Here's what some of our #MedwayHeroes had to say:

“Volunteering provides me with a sense of purpose knowing that I am helping people within the community. It has greatly impacted my life and wellbeing as it makes me realise how much I have actually got in my life and how life should not be taken for granted and everyone should be allowed the right to be listened to and get the same care as everyone despite any disabilities or impairment or age”. Billie-Jo Porter – Community Health Research Volunteer with Involving Medway

“Volunteering is an honour and gives me the opportunity to make a difference, learn new things and serve my wider community”. Kulwant Jhita Singh – Volunteer Trustee at Kent Ramgarhia Darbar Sikh Temple & Community Centre

“My volunteering has enabled me to develop my skills in thinking on my feet and developing ways of forming reasoned ideas”. Joe Wastell – Trustee Volunteer at Belive