Celebrations reward helping hands

Valuable work of volunteers recognised across the borough

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Mayor of Hammersmith&Fulham, Cllr Minnie Scott Russell, and her consort, Mr Harry Spencer-Smith, present a certificate to 96 year old volunteer Frank Long.

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The valuable work of volunteers in the borough is being celebrated at three separate events across the borough.

The contribution made by local people who give up their time to aid the community is being highlighted during Volunteers Week from 5 - 9 June.

Speaking at the launch of Volunteers Week in the King's Mall Shopping Centre, Cllr Antony Lillis, Cabinet Member for Health & Social Services, said, "The often unsung heroes of our community will receive their just reward this week. Volunteers are extremely valuable members of our community and we want to welcome and encourage more people to volunteer."

Anyone visiting the Kings Mall shopping centre on King Street on a weekday between June 1 and June 7 will be able to chat with staff from Hammersmith & Fulham Volunteer Centre (HFVC) and learn about the ways they can benefit from volunteering, both by improving the lives of others and by gaining new skills and experiences for themselves.

At a second volunteers event in the borough, the Age Concern summer party, Cllr Lillis as well as the new mayor of Hammersmith & Fulham, Cllr Minnie Scott Russell, got a chance to praise the work of Age Concern volunteers.

The Mayor said, "This party is great chance for me to thank the Age Concern volunteers for all their hard work and dedication over the year. The charity is a real lifeline for older people as it offers social activities and events as well as invaluable practical support."

A third event celebrating the work of volunteers in the borough will take place on Tuesday 6 June 2006. The award ceremony is arranged by the HFVC who work with the council, local businesses and community groups to recruit volunteers and give them suitable placements.

Diana Smith, who had been out of work for several months, before she learned about the work done by HFVC said, "The HFVC staff found me a work placement as an office receptionist. This helped me to improve my communication and IT skills and to operate more efficiently in the workplace. As a result of this support I've managed to find sustainable, full time employment at Groundwork West London."

The award winners on Tuesday night are from among the 1500 people who have taken up voluntary work in the borough over the past year. Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh, leader of the council, who will also be at the prize giving on Tuesday 6 with Cllr Lillis, concludes, "Volunteers perform a tremendously important role and I'm delighted to recognise the efforts of local people who give up their time for others. They each have my sincerest thanks."

June 5, 2006