Volunteers Week 2021

National Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) is the annual celebration of volunteering: a week dedicated to thanking all volunteers for their time, energy, commitment, values and skills.

Monday – Thank you!

“The past year has shown how essential volunteers are to supporting our communities. The response to national and local need for volunteers has been overwhelming and during the pandemic volunteers were essential in providing for the basic needs of individuals and communities. One of our member organizations took on more volunteers during the first lockdown than in the whole of the previous year.

“All of us working with communities are aware of the time and energy volunteers contributed during the year, whether giving extra time on top of their usual volunteering, adapting to changing needs or signing up as new volunteers.

“Volunteers provide skills and expertise that may not otherwise be available. Everyone who gave their time to support others during the past year deserves our thanks. Whether you signed up online, joined a community organisation, or volunteered your time informally to those in need in your local area – Thank You. You have helped us all. Volunteers Week gives us a chance to say thank you but we have been grateful all year.”

Jess Sumner, CEO Community Works

You can read this message in Arabic, Bengali, Simplified Chinese, Farsi and Polish

Tuesday – Befriending

During the pandemic crisis, 138 new volunteers were engaged, trained and matched with vulnerable community members via Together Co.

That’s a 446% increase compared to the year before! And an extra 332 isolated local residents are now supported with telephone and practical help from volunteers for the first time. Amazing!

Wednesday – Mutual Aid & Community Mobilisation

Last year, the Community Works Volunteer Centre recruited 871 Volunteers for direct Covid-19 emergency support.

Thursday – Homelessness Support

During the pandemic, Community Works Volunteer Centre supported St Mungo’s with their role descriptions and emergency housing recruitment for several volunteer roles:

⭐️ Hotel Assistant Volunteer
⭐️ Emergency Hotel Reception Volunteer
⭐️ Admin Volunteer

Resulting in an additional 1608 hours of volunteering!

Friday – Food banks

A snapshot from Brighton & Hove Food Partnership of some fantastic community volunteering…May 2020, in just one week:

⭐️ 548 people gave 3,270 hours volunteering
⭐️ at 45 food projects
⭐️ supporting 3000 households

Saturday – Carers

Here is one of many examples of some fantastic community volunteering in Adur & Worthing… 600 community response volunteers last Spring, supported by the Adur & Worthing Council’s community wellbeing team, delivered food & medicine to people who were housebound.

Sunday – Trustees & ESV (employer-supported volunteering)

Our Volunteer Centre received 371 enquiries from people wanting to volunteer as an NHS Vaccination Steward / Marshall across Brighton & Hove. And 500 volunteers recruited for COVID-19 emergency newsletter distribution. An incredible response, thank you.

Here are some ‘Thank you’ videos from the local community…

Community Works’ Volunteers and Trustees

Darren is one of the great team of trustees at Community Works.

Video available on Sunday 6 June

Trustees, including board members, directors, governors or committee members are vital to the running of our organisations, and they are all volunteers. They ensure organisations meet their goals, responsibilities and are fit for purpose.

Thank you to all Community Works Volunteers and Trustees, as well as all of those dedicating their time within the sector across our community.

Search local trustee role opportunities:


American Express Community Partnerships support our local communities and as Brighton’s biggest employer, runs a wide range of volunteering and philanthropic initiatives across the region.

Throughout the year American Express colleagues give their time on a voluntary basis to get involved in these projects.

Carers Support

Carers Support West Sussex is an independent charity supporting some of the 89,000 family and friend carers living in West Sussex.

With more than 100 members of staff and over 70 volunteers, as well as a dedicated team of Trustees, Carers Support is committed to ensuring carers are recognised and listened to.

More information:

Age UK

Age UK West Sussex Brighton and Hove is an independent local charity working in the community to support older people, their families and carers.

More information:

Whitehawk United

A group that was set up by local resident Marc Gorry to provide opportunity for local people to socialise and benefit from greater exercise.

Most importantly unlike more traditional football clubs, participation is not based on skills and ability to play football well, just enthusiasm and willingness to have fun.

More information:

Bevendean Foood Bank

Bevendean Food bank is for individuals and families experiencing food poverty in Lower and Upper Bevendean, Saunders Park, Meadow View and Lewes Road corridor.

Also, there are often advisors on hand to give free advice regarding debt, benefits and housing. Thank you to all volunteers who have helped in providing this service over the past year.

More information:

Turning Tides

Turning Tides provides a range of homeless support services in West Sussex, covering Adur and Worthing, Littlehampton, Horsham District and Mid Sussex.

Every year they accommodate over 200 homeless men and women in their 20+ properties across the county. A big thank you to all of the volunteers who are an invaluable part of their team.

More information:

Brighton YMCA

Thank you to all the volunteers and their invaluable efforts through out the year, supporting the work of Brighton YMCA.

Brighton YMCA – Our Mission: Ending homelessness, Transforming lives; to support homeless people of all ages to discover their potential and feel inspired to achieve their aspirations and live life to its fullest.

More information:

Broadwater Support Mutual Aid group

Mutual Aid groups and community mobilisation have been crucial from the initial stages of the pandemic as local people stood together to support each other and the most vulnerable in their communities.

Broadwater Support group acts as a Mutual Aid group, providing weekend and evening emergency food in the Worthing area. They also offer other support, for example, shopping, prescription pick ups and help with any additional needs caused by isolation, shielding and lack of funds.

More information:

Bristol Estate Leasehold and Tenants Association (BELTA)

BELTA is a resident led, community CIC wholly managed by a committed team of volunteer tenants & leaseholders working to make life happier & healthier on Bristol Estate.

From March through to August 2020, BELTA worked with BH Food Partnership, FareShare, Acorn & East Brighton Food Coop to provide an Emergency Lunch & Food Parcel service from the Community hub. Volunteers from across the estate and city contributed their time and energy to make this happen.

More information:

Blatchington Court Trust

Alison Evans, Executive Manager at Blatchington Court Trust, participated in our Community Works Mentoring Programme and found the experience invaluable.

Thank you to all of our Mentors, Mentee’s and everybody involved in the programme.

Blatchington Court Trust – Setting young blind and partially sighted people throughout Sussex on the path to live their best life.

More information:

Independent Visiting Service (Brighton & Hove City Council)

An Independent Visitor is a volunteer who spends quality time with a child or young person in care for a few hours every couple of weeks.

Independent Visitors are there to provide a sense of ‘normal’ life to a young person who is living in a children’s home or who has moved among numerous foster placements.

Independent Visitors are are ordinary people, like you, who volunteer their time because they like children and young people.

Thank you to all Independent Visitor Volunteers.

More information: