Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Over 50s find 'one good reason' to volunteer

As part of the European Year of Active Ageing, volunteers Irene Harper and John Mitchell with Wendy Osborne, Chief Executive of Volunteer Now are calling on all over 50s throughout Northern Ireland to take part in the One Good Reason Action Day on 28th September and to try their hand at volunteering.

As part of the European Year of Active Ageing, Volunteer Now with the support of the North West Volunteer Centre is calling on all over 50s throughout Northern Ireland to join them for a great day out and to try their hand at volunteering.

Following the success of last year’s event, the One Good Reason Action Day which is part of Volunteer Now’s Unlocking Potential Project, is taking place on 28th September. The day offers over 50s the chance to try their hand at volunteering and experience firsthand how it can benefit themselves as individuals while making a real difference in their local community.

Conservation work, dog walking, reading programmes and meet and greet activities are just some of the volunteering opportunities available across various locations including Belfast, Derry - Londonderry, Ballymena, Newry and Enniskillen. Each participant will be provided with free refreshments from around 9am onwards in a central location near them with the opportunity to meet other volunteers before making their way to local organisations to take part in volunteering activities from around 10.30am onwards.

The day is free of charge and everyone will be made to feel welcome whether they come along by themselves or as part a group of friends. Employers are also being encouraged to support the day by signing up their employees over 50 years old to take part in volunteering activities that can play an integral part in preparing staff for retirement.

It’s a great way to gain new skills as well as experience firsthand how beneficial and enjoyable volunteering can be, both in terms of health and social benefits for themselves and for others within their community. The campaign has been developed with the underlying thinking that we can all find plenty of reasons not to do something – but when we find one good reason to do something we usually do it!

Wendy Osborne OBE, CEO of Volunteer Now said; “We hope that men and women over 50 across Northern Ireland will take advantage of this opportunity to have a great day out while making a real difference to charities and voluntary organisations in their local community.

“As our population ages it is imperative that more people volunteer not just to ensure that their skills and talents aren’t lost to the community but also so that individuals don’t miss out on the many health and social benefits provided by volunteering that can lead to a happy and rewarding third stage of life.

“Whether people have retired or are even thinking about retiring in the next ten to fifteen years we hope they will take this opportunity to give volunteering a go for the first time or try something different for the day. We have a range of exciting and unique volunteering opportunities on offer to suit everyone, so we hope that this will encourage participants to come along and make volunteering a more permanent part of their lives.”

The One Good Reason Action Day is being supported by Sainsbury’s, who will be providing a number of Action Day venues with snacks for volunteers.

Steven Pollock, Sainsbury’s Ballymena store manager said: “Sainsbury’s is very proud to be supporting Volunteer Now’s One Good Reason Action Day. We recognise the great benefits that volunteering can provide for the health and wellbeing of individuals as well as how charities and organisations within local communities can benefit. This is a very worthwhile cause.”

Participants will be able to pick a volunteering activity and location that suits them ahead of the day. Will you take up the challenge? To register, please contact Volunteer Now on 028 90232020 or to find out more information, visit www.volunteernow.co.uk.

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