Minister Celebrates with Local Volunteers
Dignitaries and celebs salute Hammersmith & Fulham Volunteer Centre
A key member of the government’s newly created Department of Innovation, Universities & Skills (DIUS) joined local dignitaries and media celebrities in saluting the efforts of West London volunteers on Friday (14 September) at the AGM of the Hammersmith & Fulham Volunteer Centre.
Lord Triesman, who is Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Intellectual Property and Quality, gathered alongside local councillors, musicians, DJs and comedians at the Novotel London West to applaud local residents who have given up their free time to help others or improve their own career prospects.
The event included an awards presentation to 25 of the Volunteer Centre’s most committed and effective volunteers, including seven previously unemployed people who have used voluntary work experience as a springboard to find paid jobs. As always, the AGM included a dinner-dance and cabaret – this year compèred by BBC Radio London’s Geoff Schumann and Choice FM’s Wayne Rollins – as a ‘thank you’ to the volunteers and the organisations that have hosted or supported them. Amongst the cabaret performers were R’n’B star Sean Anthony and Fame Academy’s Audley Anderson.
One of those who collected an award was Susu Abdi, of Shepherd's Bush, who has moved from being a full-time mother to a governor’s clerk in the Children’s Services department of Hammersmith & Fulham council through the VC. Says Susu: “I first approached the Volunteer Centre back in May, hoping to try and build up my confidence and my self-esteem. As a full-time mum I found that I’d forgotten all about things like using computers, so the Volunteer Centre staff sent me to do the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) as well as courses in first aid and skills for work. In addition to volunteering through the VC I was also a parent governor at a local primary school, so I was excited when a position as a governor’s clerk came along. The VC staff gave me a reference and helped me prepare for the interview, and I couldn’t believe it when I got the job. The staff have been amazing, even now they let me come to their office to practise my computer skills. They’re irreplaceable.”
Lord Triesman said: “I congratulate all the West London volunteers for their dedication and great contribution to their local communities. Volunteering is an excellent way for people to boost their skills and improve their job prospects. In the newly-created Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills we are committed to helping every person in this country reach their full potential. I am pleased that Hammersmith & Fulham Volunteer Centre is providing such a good example of enabling people to serve society and achieve their ambitions.”
Marion Schumann, director of the Volunteer Centre, says: “We’re delighted that Lord Triesman could attend our AGM, and learn more about the work of the Hammersmith & Fulham Volunteer Centre and the people and organisations we work with. It’s great that the government recognises the importance of volunteering, not just in terms of helping worthy causes and people in need but also in terms of boosting your own confidence, developing your own skills and transferring what you’ve learnt to the job market. Some of the volunteers who received awards on Friday night have transformed their employment situation through commitment, hard work and a willingness to learn, and they should serve as a model to unemployed people everywhere.”
Anyone interested in learning more about volunteering should call the Volunteer Centre on 020 8741 9876, visit www.hfvc.org.uk or drop in at Galena Mews, 148 King Street, Hammersmith.
September 21, 2007