Council to build on its army of volunteers

Published: Thursday, 15th December 2016

Havering Council has launched its new and innovative five-year strategy to increase the number of committed volunteers in the borough.

The plan that was approved at Cabinet last night aims to strengthen Havering’s vibrant voluntary and community sector, and sets out a range of actions to help the Council understand the borough’s volunteering base better; what would motivate more people to volunteer, and how the Council can support volunteers through training, and development and other benefits.

There are a number of existing projects that are run by volunteers such as the Community Clean-Ups and Techy Teas in libraries, which allow volunteers to share their IT skills by helping library customers who struggle to use computers or the internet to gain a better knowledge of IT and improve their digital skills.

But during this time of austerity the council and local voluntary and community sector organisations require more voluntary support to ensure that residents and communities can continue to benefit from the broad and diverse range of high quality support they currently enjoy. For example, due to the power of volunteers, Havering libraries achieved the highest completion rate of 79 per cent in London for the annual, national Summer Reading Challenge, surpassing the average completion rate by 22 per cent - just one of many successes of volunteers in the borough.

Councillor Melvin Wallace, Cabinet Member for Culture and Community Engagement said: “Volunteering has a positive effect on both individuals and communities and in Havering we have great volunteers who do their very best to support their community. This new strategy provides a framework for developing and enhancing volunteering across the borough and I encourage residents to volunteer as they can try something new and it’s a good way to make new friends.”

If you would like to volunteer in Havering please visit: www.haveringvc.org.uk to find out more.