What volunteering means to Team VIY

26 May 2022 | All News

Volunteers Week takes place 1st-7th June every year, an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering.

Clearly, we love volunteering. It’s in our DNA. It’s at the heart of why #SomethingConstructive means so much to us. It puts the ‘V’ in VIY. So all month long we’re going to celebrate the value volunteering brings to the lives and futures of people, places and spaces, through VIY volunteering opportunities and so many others, through our social channels (links below) and right here, starting with our very own Team VIY.

Alex Berwick, Data & Impact Officer

“I started volunteering with Re-engage in 2015 (formerly Contact the Elderly, who work to combat social isolation and loneliness), and have volunteered as a tea party Group Coordinator, Driver and Host. The tea parties take place monthly and we pick the guests up and take them to a host’s house where everyone (including the volunteers) sits down to a tea party together. Over the years, I’ve seen the difference that these tea parties make to the older people who attend, but I also get so much out of it too (and no it’s not just the cake either!) Getting to chat to the tea party guests and hearing about their life stories, and seeing that you’re making a difference, make the tea parties one of the highlights of my month.

I also volunteer as a call companion for Re-engage. This involves a weekly call to a lovely gentleman called John. We’ve been speaking most weeks since March 2020 and I’ve been so lucky not only to hear about his life story (which has taken him from the east end of London in the 1930s), but to chat about more day-to-day things like football and what he’s been up to during the week.”

A quote from a lovely Re-engage recipient

Hannah Green, Communications Manager

“I volunteer as a Run Leader for weekly social run group Run Brum Crew in Birmingham city centre. It’s a great chance to start the week off right by getting out of the house on a Monday evening, helping other locals do the same and providing the vital social interaction we’ve all missed.

We’re there to help encourage people to simply get their trainers on, get out for a jog and a chat, to help both our physical and mental wellbeing. We also end up in the pub for a drink afterwards to carry on the conversation, meet new people and relax into the week together. Mondays are never the same without Run Brum Crew!”

Hannah with Birmingham city centre based Run Brum Crew, come rain or shine!

Tess Bettison, Project Executive

“I have volunteered with the Alzheimer’s Society’s Singing For The Brain programme since I was at school alongside my Dad (circa 2012/2013).  Singing for the Brain offers those suffering with Alzheimer’s and their carers a chance to come and have a sing, choosing a different theme and songs each week. The sessions provide a nice chance for socialisation, a fun activity that helps with brain functionality and offers the carers some rest bite, all in all creating a lovely community of support.

The Alzheimer’s Society is a charity very close to the hearts of my family as my Nan suffered with the disease for the last 10 years of her life and I always enjoy a good karaoke in whatever form it comes!”

Tim Reading, CEO

“I volunteer to run the junior cricket section at my local cricket club, where we have over 100 junior players drawn from our town and the local villages. The cricket club is the epicentre of my son’s life (he’s fully addicted to the game!) and has done so much for his development and confidence – so I want to help and encourage other young people to enjoy the game and benefit more widely in the same way.”