Health and social care champion Healthwatch Gloucestershire will be celebrating the difference volunteers make to the local community during this year’s Volunteers’ Week, which runs from 1-7 June.

Volunteers at Healthwatch Gloucestershire will be joining staff at various locations around the county to mark the occasion, celebrate the volunteers that already give up their time for us, and to recruit new volunteers.

Anyone interested in volunteering with Healthwatch Gloucestershire can come and have a chat with us at any of these events:

Monday 3 June
10.30am-12.30pm: Stow-on-the-Wold Library and
1-2.30pm: The Old Bakery Tea Room.

Tuesday 4 June
10am-1pm: Tesco, Bishops Cleeve, Tewkesbury.

Wednesday 5 June
10am-12 noon: Cinderford Library, Forest of Dean and
4.30-6.30pm at the Rose Tree Farm in Gloucester.

Thursday 6 June
10am-12 noon: The Fleece, Cirencester and
2-4pm: The Malthouse, Stroud.

Friday 7 June
1-2pm: The Sober Parrot, Cheltenham.

More than 40 volunteers currently offer their time to Healthwatch Gloucestershire, helping in various roles such as office admin, leading Enter and View inspection visits, gathering views at community events or being a member of the steering group.

George Soars, Volunteer Officer at Healthwatch Gloucestershire, said: “Our volunteers are amazing, and this Volunteer’s Week gives us a chance to thank them publicly for all the work they do.

“It’s thanks to volunteers that we are able to get out and about in the communities and listen to the views and experiences of so many on local health and social care services.

“We are always looking for more volunteers and would love to hear from people, whatever their background, to fill one of our voluntary roles.  People can make a real difference to their communities and help to shape their local health and social care services.”

Healthwatch Gloucestershire volunteer Kay says she found her ideal job thanks to volunteering.

The 30-year-old from Gloucester finished a degree in Public Health in 2014 and had been job-hunting for a career in this field.

Kay explained: “I decided to volunteer because I wasn’t getting the job I wanted and so I could use my degree.  I got involved in a local research project and through this I got a job thanks in part to my volunteering experience!

“Volunteering is a great way of opening many doors.  I would say to anyone thinking of volunteering and currently looking for a job – if you need to improve your career path, volunteering is a great way to start.

“Healthwatch has also helped me to see the great potential within myself.  I get to meet new faces every day and on top of this I’m gaining so many experiences.  Volunteering is the best thing that could ever happened to me.”

All volunteers with Healthwatch Gloucestershire go through a full training and personal development programme.  They are given a comprehensive volunteer handbook and welcome pack, as well as having access to an online volunteer portal with up to date policies and procedures.  Out of pocket expenses are also reimbursed.

To find out more about volunteering with Healthwatch Gloucestershire call George on 01452 504989 or email info@healthwatchsgloucestershire.co.uk or visit www.healthwatchgloucestershire.co.uk/volunteering