Celebrating first anniversary of unique volunteering scheme

Becky Rich
Becky Rich

Volunteers and dignitaries will come together this week to celebrate the first birthday of a pioneering initiative.

The Lancashire Volunteer Partnership (LVP) was established a-year-ago to bring volunteering for public services together, making it rewarding and providing more opportunities for people to make a real difference in their communities.
The partnership has a number of bases across Lancashire which accept referrals from public services to support people in the community. This can range from giving a carer some respite to visiting someone in the community who is feeling isolated and is struggling to get out and about independently. In the past twelve months the LVP has helped 397 vulnerable people across Lancashire.

To coincide with the LVP’s first birthday a ‘Champion’ volunteer recruitment campaign is being officially launched to encourage more people to volunteer.
LVP Programme Manager, Chief Inspector Ian Sewart said: “By working together with our partners we believe we can look after our volunteers better and allow them to use their skills for the benefit of all.
“We are passionate about supporting people in need of help and building stronger, more resilient communities that can flourish.”

The ‘Feel Champion’ campaign has been created with the help of some of the LVP volunteers and features seven volunteers and their stories.

One of the volunteers to feature in the campaign is this years’ winner of the Lancashire Pride Award at Lancashire County Council, Becky Rich.

Becky has Down’s syndrome and a heart defect which has led to many operations. But after joining a dance group and seeing what a difference it was making to her confidence and her life, Becky decided to train as a leader and now runs her own inclusive dance class, inspiring other people with disabilities.

LVP Programme Office and Projects Manager from Lancashire County Council, Julie Sumner said: “It never ceases to amaze me how much dedication our volunteers bring to their roles, on top of their already busy family and work commitments.

“We wanted the campaign to celebrate this. However often volunteers don’t see themselves as everyday ‘heros’, even if we do.

“There are so many reasons why people choose to volunteer – it can boost your confidence, develop your skills and your CV, help you to meet new friends and is a chance to try something completely new. But as well as all of this it has been proven to make you feel good and to have a really positive impact on your own wellbeing.

“Our ‘Feel Champion’ campaign is based on this insight and was designed to be empowering and inspirational, showing the vast array of different roles our volunteers do across the public sector.”

The campaign which includes posters, adverts, outdoor media, radio and digital activity will run across the county later this year.

Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “When we were successful in our bid for transformational funding I wanted to make sure that this was used to join up our offer to those that volunteer for public services in Lancashire. The progress made has been truly amazing and contributes to our shared vision of volunteers reducing vulnerability and helping people to become stronger. I wish the Partnership every success for the future in building a platform where volunteers get an opportunity to make a real difference to peoples lives’.”

The event is at Lancashire Police's Hutton headquarters on Friday.