Charlie House today (Monday 1st June) joins charities across the UK by participating in Volunteers’ Week to thank our amazing volunteers for giving the gift of time.
Volunteers' Week takes place 1-7 June every year and is an opportunity to celebrate volunteering in all its diversity. Unable to hold a big event to mark the occasion, we have prepared and will send personalised thank you certificates and words of thanks from the entire team.
Joan Cowie, volunteer and information co-ordinator, says, “In the last year, we have been so grateful for every minute our fabulous volunteers have given to Charlie House. Due to the current restrictions we have been unable to hold a big event to thank everyone who has helped us over the last year but we couldn’t let the occasion pass without thanking everyone for their incredible contribution. Over the last year volunteers have got involved in so many ways - at our children and family activities, at our fundraising events, in our ReCHarge cafe in Bon Accord, in our office, wrapping prizes and gifts, and, of course, stepping into our mascot, Charlie Dog, paws! Our corporate supporters have given their time too - helping us to raise vital funds and awareness.”
Joan continues, “During lockdown, although our face to face activities have stopped our volunteers have been busy fundraising and offering quiet support with essential projects to allow us to continue operating. Fundraising has been incredibly challenging over the last few months and we have been blown away by the ingenuity and generosity of our supporters from individuals walking backwards to businesses who have donated a percentage of profits from online events to us. The current situation has forced us review how we best use our volunteers’ skills and experience - there are still plenty of opportunities to get involved and support us, we just need to be more creative and are always open to any ideas from our volunteers.”
Local volunteer Lynne Reid, of Newtonhill, says, “I love wearing my volunteering hat for Charlie House and have been involved with Charlie House for a number of years. I have heard a number of Charlie House parents speak about how their lives have changed when their children have been born with varying degrees of additional support needs and also how their lives have changed again when they have found the support network in Charlie House.”
Lynne continues, “It means a lot to me to be a small part of this network and to be doing something meaningful for so many people. I usually volunteer at ReCHarge Café one day per week, which I am missing due to the current temporary closure, and I also do other things for Charlie House on occasion. I enjoy chatting to new customers and telling them what their money will go towards and support and I also enjoy welcoming a Charlie House family into the café from time to time. It's lovely when someone comes in and says they know of someone who is supported by Charlie House and they have come in specifically to support the café. When I am in the Charlie House office, I am always amazed by the hard work and dedication of the team. They are always rushing off to speak to an organisation or a school or arrange some activity and support some families. Volunteers can help in so many ways at Charlie House and there is something for everyone to get involved with. Whether you can manage term-time, weekends or evenings you are made to feel valued. I'm proud to be a part of the Charlie House team.”
In the North-east of Scotland alone there are more than 1,600 babies, children and young people with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions. Alongside running ongoing activities and services, Charlie House is undertaking an £8million appeal for a specialist support centre to be built on the grounds of Woodend Hospital offering families dedicated support and local respite facilities.
Find out how you can get involved, call the Charlie House team on 01224 313333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org