News & Insights 30 May 2023

Volunteers’ Week 2023: Celebrating and inspiring volunteers

What is Volunteers’ Week 2023?

Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration to recognise and appreciate the contributions of volunteers to our communities and promote the spirit of volunteering. 

Typically, it is marked from the 1st – 7th of June in the UK. It provides an opportunity to acknowledge and thank individuals who generously give their time, skills, and energy to make a positive difference.

During Volunteers’ Week, organisations, charities, and community groups often organise volunteer appreciation dinners, volunteer fairs, recognition ceremonies, and volunteer recruitment drives, among others.

The aim is to showcase the vital impact of volunteering on society and to inspire others to get involved.

This year’s theme: ‘Celebrate and Inspire’ seeks to show gratitude to volunteers and awaken the desire in people to take up volunteering.

Why do we celebrate Volunteers’ Week 2023?

Volunteers play a crucial role in supporting organisations, communities, and causes. Volunteers’ Week provides an opportunity to acknowledge and express gratitude for their selfless contributions.

By celebrating Volunteers’ Week 2023, the aim is to raise awareness about volunteering and its benefits. It encourages more people to consider volunteering and showcases the wide range of opportunities available.

Moreover, Volunteers’ Week fosters a sense of community and togetherness. It brings people from different backgrounds and organisations together to celebrate their collective efforts in creating positive change.

The role volunteers play in community building

Volunteers hold a vital position in community and nation-building. A case in point is the resilience volunteers demonstrated during the pandemic.

Covid-19 left holes but volunteers stepped in to fill the gaps in response

It begs the question: what would the pandemic have looked like with no volunteers? Those who were self-isolating would have missed out on food. Children who needed extra tuition more than ever would not have got the support they needed. The vaccine rollout would not have been as fast or efficient.

Generally, volunteers played a crucial role during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their contributions were instrumental in providing support for healthcare professionals in hospitals, clinics, and vaccination centres. 

More specifically, they provided administrative support, testing, and contact tracing, distribution of essential supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) to vulnerable populations, emotional support, and counselling services.

In education, we experienced a seismic shift towards remote learning with the closure of schools. Action Tutoring signed up a deluge of volunteers to assist pupils who were adapting to online learning. They provided tutoring and mentoring to ensure that pupils could continue their education effectively.

Beyond their selfless dedication, compassion, and support, volunteers were crucial in mitigating the impact of the pandemic. They provided the much-needed assistance to individuals, communities, and healthcare systems.

Volunteers needed

Why volunteers are needed now more than ever?

The voluntary sector has changed significantly in the last three years. While individuals have returned to pre-pandemic lives in many ways, the consequences of lockdown continue to have an influence on communities.

The cost of living crisis is widening inequalities. As a result, there is an increasing need for more support for disadvantaged populations with limited resources and fewer volunteers. As a result, charities are struggling to make up for the volunteer numbers.

The Community Life Survey found the proportion of people who had volunteered at least once a month in 2021-22 was 16%, down from 23% in 2019-20. 

Interestingly, the role of technology in volunteering is more paramount since 2020. Currently, virtual volunteering is the third most common way, with about 31% of all volunteering in the last 12 months done online or via phone, according to Time Well Spent 2023.

In education, the attainment gap is at its widest in a decade at both primary and secondary levels. Volunteers are needed more than ever to help disadvantaged pupils pass their SATs and GCSEs to open the door to better future opportunities

What to expect from Action Tutoring this Volunteers’ Week 2023

In marking Volunteers’ Week, here is a quick look at the ways Action Tutoring is celebrating the thousands of volunteers we work with to support young people:

  • Facebook Live event – Hear first-hand from some of our Programme Coordinators working with volunteers for positive change in the North West and the North East
  • Volunteer info session – Find out how you can support young people in schools by volunteering as a tutor for one hour per week
  • Celebrating our volunteers – We’ll share funny and heartwarming messages from pupils to volunteer tutors who are making a difference in their lives. Check out some of these uplifting messages on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok pages during the week.

Join the conversation – Share your memorable volunteering moments on social media and tag us @actiontutoring. Your post can win a heart and mind to start volunteering today.