Volunteers’ Week has been taking place this week, with volunteers across the country thanked for the fantastic support they provide to charities and their local communities.
At Albion in the Community (AITC), volunteers play an important part in ensuring a number of the charity’s programmes and sessions have a positive impact on the people of Sussex.
AITC’s Speak Up Against Cancer is just one of the projects benefiting from support from volunteers. Speak Up Against Cancer aims to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of a range of different cancers and many of the volunteers have a personal experience of cancer that has motivated them to get involved.
Since its launch in 2016, Speak Up Against Cancer volunteers have given up hundreds of hours of their time to talk to people across Brighton and Hove about their experiences of the condition, what early-warning signs to look out for and the importance of visiting a GP as soon as you have any concerns. They have also been dispelling popular myths about NHS screening programmes and encouraging residents to take part.
In fact, they helped AITC deliver potentially life-saving messages to almost 18,000 in the first year. And since September last they have given up a combined 275 hours of their time and as a team met face-to-face with 14,000 people.
Sue Brown, who heads up Speak Up Against Cancer for AITC, said: “Our Speak Up volunteers are a hugely-important part of our campaign and we are incredibly grateful to them for their continued support.
“The project simply would not be the success it is without their involvement and having people with a personal experience of cancer who are willing to talk about those experiences really adds to the impact of our work.”
Elsewhere at AITC, volunteers have taken part in 164 hours supporting the charity’s fundraising team, while 120 young people taking part in the charity’s Premier League Kicks programme have subsequently volunteered at the free football sessions.
Matt Dorn, AITC’s chief executive officer, said: “As a charity we are fortunate to benefit from the support of a large number of volunteers – all of whom contribute to making our programmes and sessions a success.
“My thanks – and indeed the thanks of everyone at AITC – goes to everyone who has given up their time to help the charity over the last 12 months.”