As part of Volunteers’ Week, West Sussex County Council wants to thank the more than 1,000 volunteers who support council services on a daily basis.
From Independent Visitors and Digital Ambassadors to Community Volunteers and Countryside Rangers, residents are volunteering throughout the county to make a difference in their local communities.
Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire and Rescue, said: “Volunteer’s Week allows us to carve out a dedicated space in our calendars to recognise the fantastic contribution that volunteers not only make to our services, but to the people they interact with as part of their role.
“The time, dedication and hard work that these individuals put in to support people from all walks of life is truly astounding. As we found out from our 2022 Volunteer’s Survey, it also makes a difference to the volunteers themselves as they feel like they are helping their local community, feel a sense of personal satisfaction and achievement and it can often give them the ability to make new friends.
“I would like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to anyone who has volunteered with us over the last 12 months. Thank you for giving your time to make the services we provide for residents across the county even better.”
As part of the dedication to their volunteers, the County Council sends out the annual Volunteers Survey to get an understanding of what the council is doing right or if there is any way they can improve their programmes.
This year’s survey revealed the following results:
Nearly 80% of volunteers have been involved in the council for over three years and 53% have volunteered with the council for five years or more.
Of the 142 responses received from this year’s survey, 133 people were either satisfied or very satisfied with the volunteer experience.
132 were either satisfied or very satisfied with the support provided by County Council staff.
82% felt that their training and induction was either very helpful or extremely helpful in delivering their volunteering role.
Over 80% felt they were very valued or extremely valued for the volunteering role they do.
Some of the main reasons for volunteering with the County Council were to:
Make a difference in their local community.
Expand existing skills or learn new skills.
Make new friends.
Help the environment.
Improve their mental wellbeing/physical health.
And comments from volunteers who took part in the survey were very positive too.
“Having spent 40 years office bound with limited practical skills this has been a great opportunity to learn new things and contribute to the environment. The camaraderie with the Rangers and other volunteers which together are a great team makes the day a real pleasure”
“It’s a chance to pass on my existing skills post-retirement and stay up to date with new developments. I love helping other people learn and increase their digital skills, especially older generations who struggle with modern technology”
“Interacting with young people. Listening to their views on life generally. Being there to answer their questions and /or putting them in touch with someone who can help them”
Volunteers support council services in a variety of roles, including Independent Visitors, Young Carers Family Service, Fire Rescue Service, Waste Prevention, Record Office, Youth Justice Service, Libraries, Public Rights of Way, Countryside, Community Volunteers, Tree Wardens, and recently established Digital Ambassadors and Local Leaders of Governance.
For more stories about the amazing volunteers at the council, follow @CommunitiesWSCC on Twitter.
If you’re interested in volunteering for the council and want to find out more, including what volunteering opportunities are currently available, visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/volunteering, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.