I was reading about some of the stories of volunteers who have been helping policing that were recognised at an event today. People give up hours of their time as Special Constables or to get involved as volunteers in other ways. And it isn’t just within policing where people give their time but it can be seen in the NHS and in all kinds of services previously offered by local authorities.
If you look at the Wigan Council ‘Deal’ it is all focused on encouraging people to get more involved in their local communities. It has had many significant successes including residents groups running leisure facilities and other elements of community life. There are also many, many people who do some volunteering activity during their week whether it is for a community group or charity.
It is easy to say you are too busy. We are all busy and we often neglect being part of our local neighbourhood. We come in at night after a hard day at work and shut the front door behind us and stay there until morning comes. It can mean we don’t get to know our neighbours or what is going on in the community around us. But in this busy world we should all try to make time to improve our neighbourhoods for everyone.
I have been interested in looking at the neighbourhood planning website which is encouraging people to develop plans to improve their local areas. Unfortunately, it does seem to be a very bureaucratic system that has a lot of steps that need to be achieved to get the ultimate outcome of a plan. They process is much more suited to someone working in local government or an elected politician to lead on rather than a member of the public. I am sure something could be done to make it an easier process to understand.
National volunteers’ week and the Special Constables weekend was a great opportunity to say thank you and recognise the work that many people do every day. Hopefully it may prompt more people to give up a few hours of their time to help others.