39 volunteers from BHT, including 9 from the Whitehawk Inn that recently became part of BHT, were thanked by the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Councillor Lynda Hyde, for their work for BHT, the Whitehawk Inn, and the City as a whole.
The event was part of Volunteers Week which aims to promote volunteering activities throughout the community.
Councillor Hyde said: “It was a delight to welcome so many people to the Parlour who are giving so much of their time to helping others. What surprised me was that many of the volunteers who I met today are former clients of Brighton Housing Trust, all wanting to give something back. The Whitehawk Inn does excellent work in the east of the City, and the volunteers make such a difference to this work.”
Sandra Elliott has been volunteering at the Whitehawk Inn for 15 years as an IT tutor. She said: “What is so rewarding about volunteering is seeing young people without opportunities getting the chance to make a change for the better so that they can get to a better future. It is so rewarding to see people flourish, especially those with learning difficulties. They go on to get qualifications which builds confidence and self-esteem. I help older people to learn how to use the internet which opens up a whole new world for them. It is so satisfying.”
Stephen Fairchild, another volunteer at the Whitehawk Inn, said: “Volunteering allows me a chance to give something back and to help people who are going through what I once went through. The event in the Mayor’s Parlour brings different people from all parts of BHT together. It is especially nice for those of us from the Whitehawk Inn who are new to BHT. It feels good to be recognised and thanked by the Mayor.”
People volunteer for many reasons. Some volunteer because they have spare time, others because they want to give something back, and others do so because it is part of a route into employment.
It doesn’t matter what the motivation is for our volunteers. What I know is that they make a huge difference to the work we do, providing role models for people who are new to our services, and allowing us to deliver services that we might otherwise not be able to offer.