A COUPLE of years ago you couldn’t open up a newspaper without reading about the ‘Big Society’, but where has it all gone now?
At the time I argued that it was nothing new. Communities have been engaged in helping and supporting each other for years, and my village of Alfrick is a prime example of this, with its rebuilt village hall, annual show and community shop, all done with the aid of dedicated volunteers, and there are many other examples throughout our district.
Volunteering is an essential part of any community, and it has significant benefits for the volunteer as well as those who are helped. Getting out and meeting different people, making a contribution and helping others all add to our own health and wellbeing too.
Many of us are rushing around, trying to sort out our own lives. But most of us could spare a bit of time if we really tried.
Anybody can be a volunteer, even if it is only a couple of hours a week. It need not be through formal channels, although these provide excellent opportunities for volunteers.
Just informally helping a neighbour is volunteering – a bit of shopping or cleaning, gardening or clearing up, or driving somebody to and fro, all can be invaluable help.
As we approach this difficult time of year for the elderly and vulnerable amongst us, give a thought as to how you might be able to help ensure nobody gets overlooked this winter. By just keeping a caring eye on our neighbours can mean that they get help when most needed. There is help out there, but many need help to get it, and you can make all the difference.
Let’s make sure nobody suffers needlessly this winter.
E-mail malvern[email protected] to find out more about volunteering.