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Volunteer and bring cheer to community
5:00pm Wednesday 25th September 2013 in News
MORE than 1,000 people are giving up hundreds of hours a year to help make Castle Point a nicer place to live.
New figures released by the Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services charity, show hundreds of generous people are giving up more free time to lending a hand in their community.
In a survey of 55 charitable organisations in the borough, 977 people said they volunteer at least two hoursaweek and 242 people said they volunteer more than 10 hoursaweek.
This equates to a whopping £1.43million of unpaid work every year were they to be receiving only the minimum wage of £6.31 an hour.
Taking the figures as a representative of all of the voluntary organisations in the borough, the charity estimates volunteers give approximately 877,000 hours of unpaid work a year, equating to £5.53million.
Michaela White, deputy chief executive officer of Cavs, said: “We are really pleased to see that so many people are volunteering and helping create such a vibrant community. The figures prove just how generous people in the borough are, which is lovely.
“We are seeing an increasing in people volunteering and I think one of the reasons for that is it isagreat way for job seekers to gain new skills and training to help them find employment.
“There are a lot of benefits that can be had from volunteering.”
One of those volunteers is Margaret Irons, 43, of Thundersley Park Road, Benfleet, who hasbeen giving up her free time to help out at Little Handprints Children’s Centre, in Dark Lane, Thundersley, for the past four years.
She said: “I have three children and now that they’re all grown up, I just want to use that experience to help others.
“It gives you lots of confidence because it’s so fulfilling to help and you get a real boost from it.”
Margaret Potter, 61, from Benfleet, also volunteers at the children’s centre.
She said: “I think it’s nice to give back to the community, especially now that I’m retired.
It’s not just that, it keeps you in touch with everything, because once you leave work you become a bit insular.
“I would definitely recommend others to become volunteers.
“Cuts are being made everywhere and I think more voluntary groups are taking on that work, so they need all the help they can find.”
For more information on volunteering opportunities in Castle Point, contact Ann Gill, Cavs volunteer support and development manager on 01268 638416 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Appeal is lodged over green belt homes p
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