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Children’s charity Barnardo’s has praised its Melksham retail volunteers after they donated almost 1,600 hours of help last year.
Barnardo’s is highlighting the importance of local support in advance of national Volunteers’ Week (June 1st-7th).
Last year 13 people offered a combined total of almost 1,600 hours at the charity’s store in Verbena Court, behind the Water Meadow pub.
Across all of Wiltshire, almost 180 people donated more than 24,500 hours. Across the whole Midlands & South West region, more than 1,350 people offered a combined total of more than 263,000 hours.
However, despite this immense generosity, the charity still needs more fundraisers to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children.
Barnardo’s manager Helen West said, “Our local stores play a vital role in raising much-needed funds to maintain our work across the UK.
“Some volunteers come in for just an hour each week but every effort is sincerely appreciated.”
Volunteers can choose to help behind the scenes by sorting and tagging the donations and steaming clothes, or on the shop-floor by arranging window displays, styling mannequins or serving customers at the till.
The charity is also promoting its ‘Fortnight of Fun’ which invites students to volunteer in their local store over the summer holidays, gaining valuable work experience.
Helen added, “Volunteering provides immense personal satisfaction and is available to people of all ages and backgrounds.
“It’s a great way to make new friends and learn new skills, together with gaining important qualifications and experience which can really help in the search for work.
“Some use it as a stepping stone to employment while others simply enjoy the social aspect.
“Whatever their reasons for joining us, they’re helping to provide a positive future to disadvantaged children, young people and families across the UK.”
The Barnardo’s store is open Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm and on Sundays 10am-4pm. The team always welcome donations of good-quality clothes, books, toys, games, CDs, DVDs, bric-a-brac and accessories. Call (01225) 436806.