This Volunteers' Week let’s all take some time to thank volunteers for their invaluable contribution.

There are an estimated 450,000 volunteers in Kent and Medway. Volunteers’ Week gives us all the opportunity to thank them for supporting organisations across the county.

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said “During an exceptionally difficult year, people from all walks of life around the UK have taken the time to volunteer and make a huge difference in their communities and played a key role in the pandemic response. Volunteers’ Week gives us the opportunity to recognise their contribution and thank them for the time they give to help others.”

One organisation that knows how important volunteers are, is Blue Town Remembered. Supported by a team of 30 volunteers aged between 12 and 84, Blue Town Remembered is the heritage and cultural hub for the Isle of Sheppey. Based next to the Royal Naval Dockyard at Sheerness they provide a community cinema, café, exhibitions about local history and photographic and art exhibitions from their Music Hall base, which has been restored over the last twelve years with help from the open prison at Standford Hill.

Jenny Hurkett, Blue Town Remembered, said, “I think volunteers are the life blood of a community and the community of the Isle of Sheppey have enabled this project to grow and become this diverse cultural and heritage hub. The team have grown in skills, they have become friends and as well as working we all have a lot of fun. This enthusiasm for their work is recognised by the public who in turn have fun visiting us. Some have even become volunteers because of this.”

Josephine McCartney, continued, “The hundreds of organisations we support every year could not function without the support of their volunteers, People choose to volunteer for many reasons. For some it offers the chance to give something back to their community or make a difference to the people living around them. For others it might provide an opportunity to develop new skills, expand experiences or increase knowledge. Regardless of the motivation, what unites these men, women, and children, is that they find it both challenging and rewarding. A very big thank you to every one of you.”

Anyone interested in volunteering in Kent and Medway can find more information about an initiative between the Lord Lieutenant's office in Kent, and the Volunteer Centres throughout Kent and Medway by visiting www.kentvolunteers.org.uk

MASSIVE 'thank you ' to everyone at Kent Community Foundation. Your funding support is HUGELY appreciated and has enabled us to get into the heart of local communities with REAL, affordable, healthy and tasty food that does so much more than feed people.

Community chef Mike Spackman, Sheppey Matters

KCF's enthusiasm for what we are doing and hoping to do, coupled with helpful advice, gave us the confidence to take this daunting step which has paid off.

Liz Turner, Octopus Foundation

It's great having a foundation that empowers organisations and charities in our community to make real positive differences and changes!

Tom, MMK Mind
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