Celebrate community champions in Kirklees during Volunteers Week

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Volunteers Week starts today and is a chance for organisations up and down the country to say thank you for the 30million hours given by local people in the last year to help make good things happen.

In Kirklees lots of organisations rely on the goodwill of local people to continue running.

Volunteering Kirklees is just one of these groups.

To mark Volunteers Week, which runs until June 7, they are laying on a number of events.

They will be at Dewsbury Library for a drop-in session today (June 1) from 10am until 1pm, with everyone free to come along.

Next Tuesday (June 6), the Mayor of Kirklees will be recognising volunteers who have given exceptional service.

All week Volunteering Kirklees will be letting people know about the hundreds of ways they can give time and make a difference.

Just one of their schemes that is in operation is Auntie Pam’s - the award-winning Dewsbury support service for mothers-to-be.

Support is provided by women who are mums themselves.

One of the volunteers is Emma, who was herself once a young mum.

“It was in 2009 when my daughter was ten months old that I saw a poster in SureStart and got in touch,” said Emma.

“I’d just moved to the area and didn’t have any friends nearby and I thought it would be a good thing to do.

“The biggest impact I make, I think, is that I can relate to the younger ones, having been a young mum myself and I get a real sense of satisfaction when women come in here distraught and then go out with a smile.

“They can ask us the questions that they won’t always ask midwives and this saves money and prevents problems later on.

“It’s given me loads of opportunities.

“I’ve done qualifications in team-leading and health and social care and I’ve been out to Dewsbury Hospital to provide support to new mums.

“Some volunteers here have gone on to university and become midwives.

“The biggest thing it’s given me is that I’m now not scared to ask for anything if I need support.

“Volunteers here help each other and everybody else.”

Here are just some of the schemes you can help with:

Bookchat Volunteer - Research shows that coming together to talk about a story or poem can help people who are stressed and withdrawn.

Could you help to create a friendly, hour-long reading group for carers and the people they’re looking after?

You’ll get support and training and you’ll never be on your own as there are group leaders.

Volunteers help by reading out loud and joining in with the discussion.

For more, email chris@vkirklees.org.uk

Tool Share Helper - Keeping green spaces in good nick takes tools.

Could you help out at a ‘borrow and return’ scheme for hand tools in Batley or Huddersfield on Friday mornings?

Cleaning and keeping track of tools that are being used by community groups. Email tim.duke@btinternet.com

No Limits - Volunteer alongside a staff member to help people with autism to take part in things they enjoy like sports, museums or theatre.

The role is about offering reassurance and helping them to understand information they come across.

Training and support provided.

Email amy.hirst@hft.org.uk or call 07342068940.

To find out any more information, visit www.volunteeringkirkleees.org.uk.