Give your very own gift of time to communities in Leeds

Ronnie (right)  interviews a prospective volunteer at Voluntary Action Leeds.
Ronnie (right) interviews a prospective volunteer at Voluntary Action Leeds.
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They are the unsung heroes of Leeds who reach out to offer support to some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.

Without their selfless actions many of Leeds’s charities and organisations in the heart of your communities would cease to exist.

Whether they are befrienders, volunteer reading mentors or bus drivers these community champions play vital roles across the city.

And today the Yorkshire Evening Post is calling on readers this Christmas to give the gift of time and give something back to those on their doorsteps.

We are calling on readers to volunteer and support organisations across the city as part of their New Year’s Resolutions for our Gift of Time campaign.

Voluntary Action Leeds currently has more than 500 different volunteering opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. And the possibilities of how to get involved are endless.

Chris Bulmer, volunteer centre co-ordinator from Voluntary Action Leeds, said: “Volunteers are massively important to Leeds.

“Most organisations that use them would not be able to function or exist without them.

“A lot of people want to do something locally so that they can contribute to the area where they live. And as a result we see a real mixture of people asking how they can get involved. Their ages range from 16 through to 70 and beyond. Some people like the fact that they have helped a person or a cause and they can see the difference that they have made.

“And time commitments can be really minimal - it could be just as simple as giving up one hour per week.” Whether it is offering support to young people, the elderly, health, the environment, disability and the arts the possibilities are endless.

And we are urging readers to volunteer into the New Year and beyond as part of our campaign.

Each week the YEP will 
share a variety of opportunities with readers and show just how much of a difference volunteers make to communities across Leeds.

Mr Bulmer added: “Our volunteers are involved in our advice service that is open to the public. The team help to advise and interview members of the public about what volunteering roles and available and to signpost them to the relevant organisations.”

Nicola Furbisher, managing editor of the Yorkshire Evening Post, said: “Volunteers are, quite simply, lifelines to a whole host of organisations, charities and community groups that offer vital support to residents across Leeds.

“Without their selfless actions, many of our thriving communities would not be able to reach out to some of the city’s most vulnerable people.

“That is why the Yorkshire Evening Post is calling on you to give the gift of time to help enrich the lives of others.

“And it is not just over the Christmas period, we want our dedicated readers to give something back to their communities and show their support well into the New Year.”

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED

Seasonal fairs volunteer at a hospice in Leeds. Several volunteers are needed to support Christmas fairs across the city and to become Santa’s very own helpers.

Volunteer bucket collectors in Leeds city centre to help raise money for charity.

Community cafe assistant in Moor Allerton. Volunteers are needed to provide practical and emotional support.

Reading mentors. Volunteers are being sought to provide reading support to secondary school pupils who are struggling. The sessions are just for one hour and are run twice a week.

Befriending partnership volunteer in Harehills. Dedicated volunteers are needed to offer support to vulnerable residents who are living in social isolation.

To find out more about these visit Voluntary Action Leeds at the Great George Street One Stop building in Leeds City Centre. Contact 0113 3950405, email volunteering@val.org.uk or visit doinggoodleeds.org.uk.

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