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May 30, 2019

Time to celebrate volunteers

As we go into national Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) we want to reflect on the amazing contributions that volunteers make to the Time to Shine programme. Time to Shine aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness amongst older people in Leeds and we couldn’t do it without the help of volunteers at all sorts of levels.

Volunteers have been involved from the very start, as the Trustees of Leeds Older People’s Forum (LOPF) were heavily involved in producing the original bid to the National Lottery, and many are still part of the Time to Shine Core Partnership Board, keeping us on track with delivery.

We have volunteers in the office who help with the data, and volunteers outside the office who are helping with project evaluation.

Volunteers in our delivery partners, the people who deliver opportunities and connections for older people, do most of the things you might imagine: they drive minibuses, make tea, help people make friends, lead activities and make other people smile.

We have had a count up and can say volunteers have given over 36,000 hours of their time to support Time to Shine since 2015.

Almost 1,300 people have volunteered their time to support Time to Shine projects or the programme as a whole. The majority of volunteers are aged 50+ but over 300 volunteers are people aged 49 and under.

The figures above don’t include those who attend activities and who volunteer informally by, for example, setting out chairs and tables, welcoming new members or telling acquaintances about their project to encourage new people to get involved.

86 projects have been funded by Time to Shine since the programme began in April 2015 and the majority have involved volunteers.

Volunteers’ roles have been many and varied; from supporting Time to Shine activities in care homes, training to be members of a canal boat crew offering social trips on the water or deciding which organisations received Time to Shine funding as part of the commissioning process.

Volunteers are always welcome in Time to Shine. If you’d like to get involved please have a look at current opportunities.

A big thank you to everyone who volunteers with our partners to help deliver the Time to Shine programme. Many older people in Leeds are less lonely as a result of your efforts.

Jessica Duffy
Time to Shine Learning Facilitator