May 30, 2012 1 Comment
It’s Volunteers’ Week from 1-7 June and the WEA is joining in the annual celebration organised by Volunteering England. It has been estimated that volunteers contribute approximately 84,000 hours per year to the WEA and Ruth Spellman, our Chief Executive, has paid tribute to WEA volunteers on our website at:
Ruth points out that volunteers contribute to the work of the WEA in a staggering variety of roles including:
• Acting as Community Learning Champions to promote the value of adult learning, particularly in disadvantaged communities
• Acting as a conduit for feedback from students as Class Secretaries and Learner Representatives
• Arranging and promoting local courses through WEA branches
• Voluntary Education Advisers (VEAs) working on the WEA/ Unison Return to Learn courses.
• Running promotional and fundraising events
• Providing classroom support by helping with skills development such as literacy, language, numeracy and IT
• Supporting individuals with specific physical or learning difficulties
• Working in offices to help with administration and publicity
• Leading self-organised study circles
• Sitting on branch, regional and national committees, up to trustee level, in formal roles such as chairs, secretaries and treasurers.
I’d like to echo Ruth’s thanks to all our volunteers for their dedication, commitment and hard work. You make a big difference and the WEA couldn’t exist without you.
I’d also like to encourage anyone thinking of volunteering. All these activities enable volunteers to develop their own skills and interests and can lead to long standing friendships, more active social participation and, for some volunteers, employment. If you are interested in developing your skills whilst supporting the work of the WEA then please get in touch via email@example.com.
You can find out more about Volunteering England and Volunteers’ Week online at http://www.volunteering.org.uk/ and people who use social media might want to join a Volunteers’ Week chat on Twitter between 1pm and 2pm on Friday 1 June to talk about all the great things that volunteers and volunteering bring to our communities. To take part all you need to do is follow #VW2012chat and add #VW2012chat to your tweets.
Many people don’t use Twitter so, if the last paragraph seems like a foreign language, you might like to share comments here about events or personal experiences of volunteering with the WEA or its impact (and / or request a course in social media!).