Last week prospective volunteers and members of the public were given the opportunity to browse more than 60 different stalls at the Working Together for Woking Voluntary Sector Fair, which took place at Woking Leisure Centre.
At what can be described as Woking’s biggest volunteer showcase, visitors could talk to local charities, not-for-profit organisations and community groups to find out what they do and how they could become involved.
Cllr Will Forster, Deputy Leader of Woking Borough Council and Portfolio Holder for the Voluntary Sector, said: “To continue delivering their vital services, Woking’s voluntary sector organisations and community groups need a constant supply of new members and volunteers, which is why this year’s Voluntary Sector Fair was opened-up to the general public.
“Around 300 people attended the fair, and it was great to speak to prospective volunteers about their interests and various motivations for wanting to give back to their community. I hope that all those who attended the Voluntary Sector Fair, felt inspired by the work on display and were able to discover a volunteer role that’s right for them.”
Action for Carers reported signing-up 11 volunteers at the event; The Brigitte Trust, which supports adults with life-limiting conditions, recruited eight new volunteers; and the Woking Good Neighbourhood Schemes enlisted seven new volunteer drivers.
Cllr Forster continued: “I know first-hand how important voluntary organisations and volunteers are to Woking. The voluntary sector helped local people through the covid pandemic, and they are providing vital support during the current cost of living crisis.”
Speaking about the about the Voluntary Sector Fair, stallholder, Sarah Lout from Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing, said: “As somebody who is new to the area it has been really useful to see what’s on offer for our residents and to put names to faces.”
Claire Davitt, RHS Community Outreach Advisor, said: “It was great to be involved again this year. Being at last year’s event made my job so much easier due to all the connections I made, which led to us finding help to identify plots of land to develop community gardens.”
The Voluntary Sector Fair was organised by Volunteer Woking and Woking Borough Council, with the support of Woking CAN (Christian Agencies Network). The Mayor of Woking, Cllr Saj Hussain had the honour of officially opening the event.