Volunteers step up to show their worth

NOT HORSING AROUND: The Mayor and Mayoress of Wyre, Coun Russell and Christine Forsyth, with Huggy Bear the horse, owner Judy Ainley and Jane Williams, organiser of the Wyre Together volunteers event.
NOT HORSING AROUND: The Mayor and Mayoress of Wyre, Coun Russell and Christine Forsyth, with Huggy Bear the horse, owner Judy Ainley and Jane Williams, organiser of the Wyre Together volunteers event.

VOLUNTEERS in Wyre will be coming under the spotlight in a major way next month.

An organisation set up to support local voluntary groups will be showing people how much their time is worth.

Wyre Together and its sister group Fylde Together were set up last year when David Cameron launched his ‘big society’ drive to empower communities.

The prime minister said groups should be able to run post offices, libraries, transport services and shape housing projects.

Based at the Civic Centre in Poulton, Wyre Together is a partnership of more than 90 voluntary, community and faith groups hoping to address the changing needs of the community in Wyre.

Groups involved are extremely varied and include Lancashire Constabulary, Sure Start Fleetwood, local Methodist churches, Age Concern, Wyre Council, Lancashire County Council and the British Red Cross.

In March it will launch its ‘Volunteering Snapshot’ – a week-long exercise to capture how many volunteers and hours are given to the Wyre community in a week.

The results will then be converted into monetary value to find out the true worth of the Wyre’s volunteers.

Wyre Together manager Jane Williams said many groups would not manage without volunteers, and their importance was now being given greater emphasis.

She explained: “We recognise the importance and value of volunteering across the area and many groups would not be able to function as effectively if it weren’t for volunteers. “Volunteering also provides benefits to the individual with friendships established, a sense of value achieved and inclusion in the local community.

“The Government’s ‘Big Society’ can only work if people contribute their time to their community and we want to encourage people to do this.”

Jane said the group needed as many people as possible to take part in March’s survey and she hoped plenty would come forward.

She said: “We need as many groups and organisations to tell us the number of volunteers they have and how many hours they contribute during a normal week.”

The snapshot will take place between Monday March 21 and Sunday March 27.

For further information on the issue go to www. wyretogether.org or alternatively contact Anne Colquhoun on (01253) 887437.