Volunteers' Week 2018
by Chris Cowcher,

ACRE and the ACRE Network are proud to once again be supporting Volunteers’ Week from 1 - 7 June 2018. This annual celebration (run by NCVO) of the contribution that millions of volunteers (across the UK) make to their communities is a fantastic initiative, which provides opportunity for us all to give thanks for their efforts.

“ACRE will be using our Twitter and Facebook accounts to highlight the impact volunteers have on rural communities... join in with our celebrations”

Whilst many still see “rural” as being a term associated with rolling hillsides and farm land, the ACRE Network champions the fact that it is so much more. Rural areas thrive because of the people that live there, run their businesses there and contribute so much to community life. The tireless efforts which volunteers make for the benefit of rural areas; from managing the village hall, running befriending services, developing neighbourhood plans, building community-led housing and driving mini buses as part of community transport schemes, are vital for maintaining thriving, vibrant and sustainable communities. Social activities, clubs and classes which are usually run by volunteers also help to combat loneliness, encourage interaction between generations and offer great opportunities for residents to feel they belong.

The ACRE Network has for the past century offered support and advice to volunteers, and those utilising the skills of volunteers for the benefit of rural areas and will never cease to be amazed by what these dedicated individuals achieve. If you weren’t already aware, there are 38 ACRE Network members covering the length and breadth of England. This map will help you to connect with your local network member, if you are not already in touch.

Chris Cowcher, ACRE Community Manager said “For the next 7 days ACRE will be using our Twitter and Facebook accounts to highlight the impact volunteers have on rural communities. Our ACRE Network colleagues will also be leading on their own local activities too. Please join in with the celebrations by following the #ACRENetwork hashtag, as well as #VolunteersWeek.”

NCVO is the national lead for Volunteers’ Week, check out their website for much more information about the week-long celebration.