VIEW FROM THE HOUSE
THE first week in June saw the Volunteers Week, run by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, taking place. Anyone who had their appetite whetted to find ways of volunteering locally will have the opportunity to visit the Beaconsfield Now! event on Saturday, June 18. The Beaconsfield Society has taken the lead in organising this event for more than two decades. It is aimed at all age groups and with volunteers providing entertainment as well as refreshments, it proves that volunteering is for everyone. All of the not-for-profit and charitable organisations gathered together make an enormous difference to our community.
This year there will be a couple of changes as a result of the questionnaire which visitors kindly completed when they came along last year. The event is going to start at 11am, rather than 10am and as ever it is held on the Town Green, outside the Town Hall.
The other change is the provision of a central marquee for most of the stands. Younger people may be unsure about what skills they have to offer as a volunteer. However, volunteering in itself can help them develop skills.
At 16 years old, this summer, young people will be taking part in the National Citizens Service scheme. They’ve been busy learning in the classroom, but they will be joining more than 200,000 young people who have had the chance to take part and build their confidence and communication skills (ncsyes.co.uk). Those skills are then deployed as they work on local community projects. What these young people learn as volunteers will ultimately help them in their chosen careers.
One volunteer writing on the NCVO website added that volunteering can help young people to explore areas in parallel to the job they are doing, with this in itself opening doors for them.
I hope visitors to the Beaconsfield Now! event will be inspired to help improve the lives of other people in South Buckinghamshire.
DOMINIC GRIEVE MP for Beaconsfield