Volunteering Week is now underway in Kirklees ... and almost 100,000 people in Kirklees regularly give their time and skills to volunteer.

The week reminds people of the literally thousands of ways they can make a difference ... even if it’s just for the odd hour.

This year, in particular, the focus of Volunteers’ Week is to make sure people know there are more flexible opportunities that can meet everyone’s availability, skills and passion, which is why Kirklees Council are marking the week by launching ‘Happy Hour’ a campaign to get more people to sign up to volunteer for at least one hour.

Since 2014, Kirklees has been part of the worldwide Cities of Service movement, reflecting the importance of volunteering to our area. The “I’m in” campaign focuses on impact volunteering – helping more volunteers make the difference where it is most needed.

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Chief Service Officer, Rachael Loftus, who heads up “I’m In” in Kirklees says: “We are getting better and better at understanding our volunteer economy: being able to use people’s time, energy and skills to make the difference they want to see. Increasingly, we are also seeing that volunteering is as good for the volunteers, as the people they help. Studies have shown that it can help you live longer, increase your happiness … and in a few cases we know of, it can even help you find your life partner.”

There are a number of events taking place to celebrate the week which actually lasts 12 days.

Sharron Wilkinson, Volunteer Services Manager, Volunteering Kirklees. Photo by Gavin Joynt

Sharron Wilkinson from Volunteering Kirklees said: “It’s a busy 12 days. Many organisations are showcasing the different volunteering roles on offer, offering taster sessions and chances to talk to people who are already helping out. If you’ve ever wondered what you could do to help out, this is the time to find out!”

Some of the events include:

Tuesday, June 7: Volunteer fair at Pathways, Nettleton Road, Mirfield from 11am-2pm where organisations will have stalls to promote volunteering roles/

Wednesday, June 8: Volunteer fair at North Huddersfield Trust School, Northfield Hall, Norfolk Avenue, Fartown, from 2pm-5pm where 15 organisations will be promoting opportunities for local people.

Friday, June 10: Mencap volunteer open day from 2.30pm-4.30pm at Waverley Cafe on Waverley Road, Huddersfield, where Mencap will celebrate their volunteers and hopefully recruit some new ones.

Saturday, June 11: Volunteering Kirklees open day 12 New Street, Huddersfield, between 10am and 1pm to promote the happy hour campaign.