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Volunteers’ Week 2017: How Suffolk’s organisations are celebrating their volunteers

It’s Volunteers’ Week! It’s an annual event which takes place at the start of June. It celebrates the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK.

Here’s a sample of what some of Suffolk’s charities and organisations are up to, and how they’re celebrating their volunteers.

Of course, you don’t have to wait until Volunteers’ Week 2018 to celebrate your volunteers! If you’re inspired by any of the activities below, you can arrange your own celebration – let us know if you do!

Suffolk Mind

On the 23 May 2017 Suffolk Mind had a peer support celebration which included a lot of volunteers and incorporated aspects of volunteer celebration and recognition within that.  They have put together some certificates, pins and awards for all of their volunteers which are going out on 1 June. They’re also involved with a few events with Suffolk Libraries and Quay Place during Volunteers Week.

St Nicholas Hospice Care (staff activity)

To coincide with Volunteers’ Week 2017 they will be holding a Getting to Know You initiative thoughout the week. During this time staff will spend an hour with one of their volunteers to learn more about what they do and find out what drives them to help the Hospice and maintain their support.

Staff can then share their experiences of working for the Hospice, which will help volunteers gain a greater understanding of what jobs they do.

St Nicholas Hospice Care

…is also holding a Summer Garden Party, Sunday 4 June 2017, 1pm to 4pm, celebrating their volunteers’ wonderful work! Come and enjoy summer refreshments with friends and colleagues in the Hospice garden.

National Trust, Flatford Mill

Is holding a ‘mini’ volunteer recruitment event on 2/3 June at Flatford – putting their pop-up gazebo in the dry dock garden and encouraging new volunteers to join us in a variety of roles.


Bredfield Village Shop held a volunteer recognition and thank you evening get together in the Village Hall. The shop is a community run enterprise that is supported entirely by voluntary effort. Around 25 shop volunteers and their families attended the evening, each bringing a dish for the buffet.


The Museum of East Anglian Life has a photographic exhibition. ‘Snapshot: the Museum at 50’ is a photographic exhibition which tells the stories of over 100 people who currently volunteer and work at the museum. It gives a behind-the-scenes picture of how a 75-acre estate with 20 historic buildings and 40,000 objects is run – from animal care to steam engine maintenance, from fine art to planting a Victorian garden.

“The museum is like a village”, says Museum Director, Jenny Cousins. “There are people from all kind of backgrounds who generously give their time to make the museum the special place it is. Visitors will be surprised at the stories some of them have.

“We have a team of former nurses, police officers, agricultural workers and teachers, the sons and daughters of factory workers, publicans and bakers. All the elements that make up a community, make our community and we can share that through this very special exhibition.”

MEAL is also recruiting volunteers to work with animals, estate volunteers, collection volunteers, gardening and conservation volunteers.

Volunteering Matters

Volunteering Matters UK are launching Grand Mentors in partnership with Suffolk County Council to recruit volunteers aged 50+ to mentor young people transitioning into adulthood.

Suffolk Family Carers

On 1 June 2017, SFC are going to be on Town 102, thanking all their volunteers and staff, and celebrating with doughnuts!

West Suffolk Voluntary Association for the Blind

WSVAB is holding an afternoon “thank you” party for all their volunteers, on 1 June from 2pm to 4pm at the British Sugar Sports and Social Club.

Anglia Care Trust

ACT has a huge stand at the Suffolk Show (31 May/1 June) manned by 15 staff and volunteers. Refreshments are available in a lounge area to talk about volunteering – with a photo booth where you can pledge your time! They are also having a staff and volunteer day Easton Farm Park and a coffee morning this week to celebrate all their 130 volunteers.

Abbeyfield House

The volunteers at Abbeyfield make a huge difference to the house. They help residents with their shopping, they help with fundraising events both in the house and out in the community. They accompany residents on outings for support. Two volunteers help with the gardening.

However, we would like to recruit some more volunteers and would like to try to recruit young blood in to the house.

For Volunteers’ Week they are having a tea and scone afternoon with residents and volunteers where residents and staff will sing their praises and give thanks for all they do.