27th January 2022

Is 2022 your year to volunteer?

The New Year is a great time to reflect and set ourselves new goals for the year ahead.

If you are looking for a way to help others for your New Years’ Resolution, why not try volunteering?

All you need is a bit of spare time, lots of enthusiasm, and a will to help your community.

Volunteering is a great way to get back out and involved in the community and has been shown to have significant mental and physical health benefits. It is good for meeting new people, learning new skills, gaining new experiences, and making memories.

Somerset County Council offers a wide range of volunteer services so there is potentially something for everyone. For those who like getting outdoors there are roles with our Rights of Way team; if you want to support children and young people then a role with Route 1 advocacy may be for you. Other options include roles as school governors, minibus drivers, library volunteers, digital customer volunteers and lots more.

Cllr Clare Paul, Somerset County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Volunteering is hugely rewarding and we are grateful to all those who give up their time to help their community.

“Just as volunteering played such a pivotal role in getting Somerset through the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, it will play a valuable part in the county’s recovery.

“There are lots of interesting opportunities to choose from and plenty of support to help find the right role for you.”

One volunteering service the Council is keen to highlight is the Home Library Service. The Home Library Service is available to anyone who is unable to visit their local library, whether they are housebound, living in long term care, or people who are vulnerable due to long term health conditions or disabilities.

The Home Library Service volunteers work with the local library to collect and deliver books to help people who need the service.

One Home Library Service Volunteer, Janette, explained what the role means to her: “I help choose library books for my clients and go to see them once every three weeks or so. They really appreciate me going to see them and enjoy having some company. It is not just about delivering the books. It is nice to make friends and get to know people too.”

If you are someone who enjoys reading and would like to find out more about the Home Library Service, visit Home Library Service (somerset.gov.uk), or call service contact Kirsty Jenssen on 07814 079831.

Somerset County Council’s Central Volunteering Team recently launched a new Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/volunteeringatsomersetcountycouncil) to keep people informed about the Council’s volunteering opportunities, key updates, and good news stories.

You can find more information volunteering opportunities with the Council by visiting Somerset Volunteering | Volunteer opportunities in Somerset.

If you need further inspiration and want to check out other volunteering opportunities across Somerset, visit Spark Somerset’s website: Volunteer | SPARK (sparksomerset.org.uk).