Volunteer Army celebrated for vital role supporting communities

published on 3 Jun 2024

Salvation Army volunteers are being celebrated for the help and support they give to communities throughout the UK this Volunteers’ Week (3 to 9 June). 

More than 10,000 volunteers across the UK and Ireland keep the church and charity’s vital community services running by helping in our charity shops, providing friendship and care to older people, cooking meals for people forced to live on the streets, supporting survivors of modern slavery, running baby banks and much more. 

Lydia Kibaara, Volunteer Manager at The Salvation Army said: “As we mark Volunteers’ Week we want to say a huge thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who give up their time to help The Salvation Army support the most vulnerable people in our society and help us deliver our mission to love God and love others.

“Our churches and community centres run many different activities and services, from food banks to parent and toddler groups, homeless drop-ins to debt advice with many reliant on volunteers to keep going.” 

PR Comms Pat Donkin selling War Cry
Pat has been selling the War Cry and collecting donations at Weatherby Market for 20 years

One volunteer, Margaret, 68, helps at The Salvation Army’s Austin House Family Centre in Southwick, Sunderland, serving lunches and packing bags for The Bread and Butter Thing, which provides discounted food items. She said: “I’m on my own so I like coming here because there’s loads of people I can get on with. Without volunteering I would be on my own in my house.” 

Pat, 77, who has been selling the War Cry – the Salvation Army’s official magazine – and collecting donations at Wetherby Market in West Yorkshire for 20 years, said volunteering has really helped her confidence. She said: “I am here come rain or shine, I hide under a shelter if the weather is bad or I will go in the café because people know I am there, everyone knows where to find me. I can see myself doing this forever.” 

Albert, 84, has been volunteering in The Salvation Army charity shop in Shoeburyness, Essex since his sister died and said volunteering saved his life. He said: “I’ve got no idea where I would be without volunteering. I speak to customers, put the labels on the clothes and do general things like make the tea or sweep up. I get the feeling I’m doing something good because I do like to help people.”

PR Comms Albert
Albert volunteers in The Salvation Army charity shop in Shoeburyness

Lydia Kibaara concluded: “Every volunteer brings their own experience, skills and talent to the roles that we have on offer, and we welcome people of all different backgrounds, whether you have a connection to The Salvation Army or not.  

“Volunteering can help improve both mental and physical health, create friendships and give people a sense of purpose when they know they are giving back to their community. We would urge if you are interested in volunteering to get in touch with us. We’ve got lots of opportunities at various Salvation Army churches and centres throughout the UK, and also remote volunteering opportunities.” 

If you are interested in volunteering with The Salvation Army please visit https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/volunteer

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