Be part of the Year of the Volunteer
Press release issued: 14 March 2005
Bristol University will host the city's second and now annual Volunteer Recruitment Fair this Thursday [March 17].
Bristol University will host the city’s second and now annual Volunteer Recruitment Fair this Thursday [March 17]. The event has particular significance this year, as 2005 has been designated national Year of the Volunteer by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Gordon Brown, MP.
The Fair, organised by the University in consultation with the voluntary sector, will give members of the public the chance to find out about the wealth of volunteering opportunities available in the region. The free event will take place from 12 noon to 6 pm at the Wills Memorial Building, Queen’s Road. Organisers promise there will be no ‘hard sell’ – just plenty of interesting information.
Dr Stella Clarke, Pro-Chancellor of Bristol University and the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Simon Cook, will open the Fair.
With over 50 stalls at the event, there will be something for everyone. Well-known organisations taking part include Age Concern Bristol and Bristol Samaritans, together with less widely recognised groups such as The Compassionate Friends and Dhek Bhal. The Compassionate Friends is a volunteer befriending scheme for bereaved parents and Dhek Bhal runs health and well-being programmes for South Asian communities in Bristol and South Gloucestershire, particularly focusing on activities for young people and the elderly.
The University is committed to supporting the city’s social infrastructure by allowing one paid day’s leave per year for each of the University’s 5,300 members of staff. In addition, over 800 students are involved in volunteering through both Student Community Action (SCA) and RAG (Raising and Giving).
Kim Fitzgerald, the University’s Outreach Development Manager, said: ‘We are delighted to be hosting the Fair and that it is now an annual event. Following last year’s event over 1,000 new volunteering hours were given to the city thanks to links created via the Fair. With 2005 designated the Year of the Volunteer, it’s a brilliant opportunity for people to get engaged with their local community through volunteering.
‘The University may be an international organisation, but it also places a very high value on its relationship with the city – including the voluntary sector, which plays such a vital role in the city’s success.’