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Make volunteering your New Year’s resolution!

A young boy runs by the coast on a sunny day
Credit: Brian Barnard

Community Action Suffolk is asking people to tackle the shortage of volunteers in Suffolk caused by the pandemic by making a New Year’s Resolution to give their time. 

The charity is currently advertising 470 individual volunteer opportunities across Suffolk to help communities recover from Covid-19, as well as help vaccinate the population. With so many spaces to fill, new year’s resolutions could make a big difference to local communities.  

Chris Abraham, Chief Executive of Community Action Suffolk, says that the pandemic has had a real impact on volunteering. 

‘We have seen a real shortage of volunteers in recent months for many reasons’, she says. ‘But at the same time, charities, community groups and our health and care sectors have seen demand for service and support rise considerably.  Volunteers are an essential part of a thriving community, and there couldn’t be a better time to make a New Year’s resolution to help out in your local area.  No matter how small a part people can play, it will undoubtedly make a huge difference to people’s lives in Suffolk.’

According to Liz Clark, Director of Felixstowe Junior Parkrun, volunteers make a dramatic difference to their weekly sessions. 

‘It’s thanks to volunteers that we can hold a safe, inclusive junior parkrun,’ she says. ‘We have to have a minimum number of marshals, and we couldn’t do that without volunteers. Having their help means that we can all look forward to catching up by the sea on a Sunday morning.’ 

With the arrival of the Omicron variant, volunteering at vaccination clinics is another way that people can provide vital support their community.  

Chris, a vaccination steward volunteer, explains: ‘I’m able to make a difference outside, so healthcare professionals can get on with their important jobs of vaccinating the population. In my small way, I can really make an impact.’ 

Volunteering not only benefits charities and communities, but also the volunteers themselves. Morgan Scott-Chantry, part of the Suffolk Mentoring Team at Volunteering Matters, found his job as a result of the skills he gained from volunteering.  

‘There are so many reasons to start volunteering,’ he says. ‘Volunteer today to make a

difference in society and be the person that answers the call to help in the community.’

If you would like to make volunteering one of your New Year’s Resolutions, visit the Volunteer Suffolk website to find a volunteer role to suit your time and interests. Find out how you can support Felixstowe Junior Parkrun here. To become a Steward Volunteer for the vaccinations, you can register here.