This week is Volunteering Week, an annual nationwide event celebrating those who give up their time for free.
There are many organisations in Aylesbury Vale where volunteers are an integral part of what they do and that is the case at Spurgeons children’s charity.
Spurgeons supports vulnerable children and their families and among their volunteers is mother-of-three Salma Rafiq who helps out at Southcourt Children’s Centre each week.
Salma applied to volunteer with the charity after her third child startedpart- time at nursery.
She decided she wanted to give something back to the community and brush up on her work skills after being out of the job market for more than three years.
Salma said: “I needed to get my confidence back and have something to do.
“Volunteering opened my eyes to show me I can do more.
“It’s also helped me to focus more on myself and also what I can give to others”.
Salma has a wide-ranging role at Spurgeons which can include anything from acting as ‘welcomer’ at reception when people are arriving to helping to organise learning and development sessions or even interpreting for families who do not speak English but are referred for family support.
Lisa Chambers, Spurgeons children’s service manager said: “Volunteers play a crucial role in helping deliver local support in the community.
“Salma has been an asset to our team and an invaluable support to the families using our services.
“Volunteering can be a great way for people to gain new skills and knowledge, whether you want to get back to work, or change your career path”.
Do you know a volunteer in the Vale who deserves recognition? E-mail email@example.com.