WEEK-LONG VOLUNTEER DRIVE TO APPLAUD COVID EFFORTS and seek more recruits

A SERIES of volunteer-focused fairs are to be staged across towns and villages throughout Suffolk, in a bid to encourage recruitment in the wake of rising demand for services.
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Despite an end to the intensity of the pandemic, Suffolk’s voluntary sector continues to need hundreds more volunteers across a range of organisations, and will look to engage more companies and members of the public during the forthcoming Suffolk Action Week (October 4th – 10th).

Throughout the week, fairs will be staged by Community Action Suffolk, at venues in Woodbridge, Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury, Stowmarket and Ipswich. Advisors will be on hand to answer questions about volunteer opportunities, and charities and groups will share some of their own success stories of how they recruited or diversified during the pandemic.

Those attending will also be able to enquire about Suffolk Community Restart, an initiative being led by Community Action Suffolk to help charities, groups and venues ‘restart’ safely and swiftly post-Covid.

The Suffolk Action Week fairs are particularly significant for Community Action Suffolk, as they allow the team to stage their first major live engagement series since the first lockdown was called at the start of Covid in March 2020.

While Suffolk Action Week was marked last year by the sector, it could only be done virtually.

Chris Abraham, CEO for Community Action Suffolk, said: “The need for volunteers was very much recognised in the height of the pandemic, but the reality is that many of our community groups and charities are now urgently in need of volunteers to help them develop or enhance services post-Covid.

“Throughout the week, we’ll be showing people what a breadth of opportunity is available to them, how well matched their experiences or skills might be, and how rewarding a volunteer role in the county can be.

“During Covid we have consistently heard about people who took up volunteering for the first time and found it improved their mental health, led to them getting a job, or gave them connection which they might otherwise have gone without.

We want those benefits to continue long after offices have reopened and people have resumed their ‘normal routines’.

The confirmed fairs throughout Suffolk will take place as follows:

Tuesday 5th October – 10am-1pm Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre, Stowmarket

Wednesday 6th October – 12-2pm The Kirkley Centre, Lowestoft

Wednesday 6th October – 2.30-4pm St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds

Thursday 7th October – 9.30am-2pm Sudbury Market Stall, Sudbury

Friday 8th October – 10am-2pm Woodbridge Library

Friday 8th October 1pm-3.30pm Red Gables Centre, Stowmarket

Saturday 9th October 12pm-2pm The Hold, Suffolk Archives, Ipswich

For more information about the work of Community Action Suffolk, or to contact the team and discuss volunteering, email

www.communityactionsuffolk.org.uk.

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