Volunteers' Week is a chance to celebrate and say thank you for the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK.
It takes place 1-7 June every year and is an opportunity to celebrate volunteering in all its diversity.
As part of the week, we are going to be shining a spotlight on the wonderful people who volunteer for us and the work they do...
Paul Green, Volunteer at Eastham
"I became a Volunteer within day services at the suggestion of the Manager and a Sustrans Officer to link in with a project to introduce cycling at Eastham and South Wirral.
This was about 7 years ago after taking early retirement and I volunteer one day a week, when not away from the area.
I enjoy cycling and it is accessible for all given the right type of cycle. People we support can choose to try and master skills in a safe area.
As a volunteer I enjoy encouraging people to safely experience cycling, develop confidence and I support staff to run sessions and minimise hazards.
I try and attend Wirral Evolutions volunteer meetings and keep aware of developments and training opportunities.
I enjoy my current volunteer role and seeing folk mastering a new skill and getting some physical exercise."
Scott Crebbin, Volunteer at Highcroft
Scott has attended Highcroft for 7 years. He recently took lead in the 'Big Dig Project' to encourage volunteers to join in with Highcroft's project to improve their garden. The day was a big success, and has given the centre a great start to their work.
Scott’s skills are transferrable as in the Winter months he likes to make homemade meals from all the fresh produce he has grown in the garden. Scott’s passion is gardening and he has worked really hard in producing fresh vegetables and herbs.
Scott is hardworking and has a following of people we support who really look forward to him coming. He has become a mentor to people we support who share the same interest for gardening and allocates tasks for them to complete.
Scott is a caring man who juggles his time between family life and charitable causes, so Highcroft really appreciate his precious time that he chooses to give to them.
Volunteers working in the polytunnel at the 'Big Dig' day at Highcroft
John Marriott, Volunteer at Highcroft
John has been volunteering at Highcroft for over 6 years and is invaluable. He is reliable, eager to please and will always complete his tasks with such pride.
He really enjoys his placement and quite frequently will share his enthusiasm on Wirral Evolutions' Facebook page.
John is keen to join in when opportunities come up to try something new. Last year he was on the interview panel to recruit new staff members and his input was a valuable part of the process, thank you John! He is also a keen member of our Volunteer Action Group.
John attends training sessions to enhance his knowledge and recently passed a First Aid course and is eager to put his skills to the test.
John will always engage with the people we support and chat about their interests and what they like to do, he is a fountain of knowledge of what is happening out there in the community and signposts anyone who wishes to join groups.
John attends every Friday and he says that he still can’t wait for Fridays as Highcroft is like family.
Mike Clarke, Volunteer at Eastham
Mike Clarke has been a volunteer at Eastham Day Centre for 21 years following his retirement. When he first joined us he trained as a driver to take people we support to activities.
As the staff at Eastham got to know him, they discovered that he had once worked as a shipwright and has amazing woodwork skills. Before long, Mike was teaching woodwork at the centre 3 days a week and had built valuable relationships with the groups that attend the woodwork sessions. Mike says that his volunteer role has helped him through tough personal times and illness.
Mike rips down donated timber with his rotary saw and nothing goes to waste. The group make bird tables, bird boxes, bat boxes, hanging basket stands and Bill and Ben style flower pot men. They are made to a high quality and outlast anything you can find in the shops. But Mike says the biggest reward from making is the joy, magic and education that goes into it, giving pride and a huge sense of worth to people we support.
The items the group make are sold for a little over the value of the materiel costs and the group often sell them to the passing public during the summer months. Monies raised go towards buying seeds, compost etc. for Eastham's Brotherton Park/horticulture operation and towards fuelling minibuses to enable people we support to get out and about and enjoy activities across the Wirral.
The team at Eastham say 'we love him, he shines brightly and has brightened lives with all those he has come into contact with. He is a true legend.'
Paul McCartan, Volunteer at Eastham
Paul 'Wobbly' McCartan has been a volunteer at Eastham Centre for 10/12 years. He first came to us as part of Eastham's Taiko Dragons Drumming group and swapped numbers with managers at Eastham as he was interested in volunteering. When asked his name, he told them "Wobbly, just call me Wobbly, nobody calls me Paul." and the team use his nickname with great affection for him. He supports people at Eastham 4 to 5 days a week, even through periods of ill health.
Paul has a horticultural/garden landscaping background and has brought these skills to many of our groups. He has been invaluable to the transformation of the gardens at Eastham. He shares so much of his horticultural knowledge with people we support and teaches them to look after and aid the growth of plants and shrubs.
He loves his role as a volunteer and embraces any opportunities that come up. He has recently been signing up for various training courses that have been offered for volunteers, even staying for later 'twilight' sessions once the services close for the day.
Paul is a sociable character who takes part in activities, and even joins in with bingo on Mondays despite his reputation for being terrible at it! He gets stuck in with and always ensures everyone is having fun and enjoying the activities. The team at Eastham describe him as happy go lucky always fun to be around. He has formed many friendships at the centre, and has a fantastic relationship with the people we support.
Ian Nixon, Volunteer at Royden Park
Ian is a valued volunteer at Royden Park, who has made a real difference to people we support. He regularly attends and contributes to the Volunteer Action Group and events at the park and he has undertaken many training courses.
Ian has been recently working to restore an old cartwheel that had fallen in to disrepair in the Walled Garden at Royden Park. He has used his wood carving skills to make spokes and a hub for the wheel.
People we support at the park will have the chance to paint the wheel before it is returned to it's home in the Walled Garden for visitors to enjoy. We are really thankful to Ian for his hard work in restoring a feature that will be enjoyed for many years to come.
Dave Nash, Volunteer at Dale Farm
Dave started volunteering at Dale Farm in 1998 and has been volunteering with them for nearly 21 years.
In 1997 Dave was involved in a road traffic accident and after convalescing Dave was looking for something to occupy himself while continuing with his recovery, and through a family member he found us.
In 2014 Dave was awarded the Points of Light in recognition of his outstanding service to Volunteering which was presented to him by David Cameron the then Prime Minister.
Mike King, Volunteer at Dale Farm and Heswall
Mike started volunteering at Dale Farm in 1996 and has been involved with the setting for nearly 23 years.
He joined Dale Farm after taking early retirement from work and decided to look for some voluntary work in his local community. He found us and has he been with us ever since.
Mike has also spent many years volunteering at Heswall Centre a lot of that time dedicated to supporting people with horse riding.