Blowing the Trumpet to Launch Bradford’s Festival of Volunteering

Posted on the 7th June 2018

More people volunteer in Bradford than anywhere else in Yorkshire.  Apart from being the Curry Capital and first UNESCO City Of Film, why is Bradford such a hotspot of volunteering?  It is down to a rich heritage of voluntary sector activism which remains as vibrant and creative as ever. The very first meeting of the Labour Party took place in historic Little Germany (most famous now for being a set for Peaky Blinders), in the beautiful art deco Bradford Playhouse where you can also volunteer today.

Don’t just take my word for it, listen to some amazing voluntary sector activists who have recently moved to Bradford.

We are the UK’s only city to offer free accredited training for volunteer managers, thanks to funding from Bradford Council and Bradford College.

For Volunteers’ Week the annual Volunteers Fair has grown into an exciting, family friendly, mini festival. Taking place on City Park (next to City Hall) on Thursday June 7 from 11am-3pm, home to Europe’s largest fountain, over twenty charities and community groups will be celebrating volunteering.   Live music is from the Peace Artistes  and  BCB radio will be broadcasting live from the festival. On Wednesday 6 June our Festival of Volunteering for Volunteers Week continues at the UK’s leading Asian arts and dance company, Kala Sangam, who are hosting a day to promote volunteering to older people. This event is led by the mental health charity Positive Minds. Finally, throughout the week, volunteers at the housing association Horton Housing are work-shadowing staff.

Bradford City Park

By working in partnership, support for volunteering takes place all year round.  Four charities will receive the new ‘People Can’ Volunteering Kitemark, our local quality accreditation for volunteering, and 14 volunteer managers will complete their accredited volunteer managers training to level three.  We are the UK’s only city to offer free accredited training for volunteer managers, thanks to funding from Bradford Council and Bradford College.

For Volunteers' Week the annual Volunteers Fair has grown into an exciting, family friendly, mini festival.

It’s all part of the People Can Make a Difference campaign. People Can is an open invitation to everyone in our communities, neighbourhoods, villages and towns to work together and discover how we can make a difference to our lives and the places we live.  A cross partnership campaign, volunteering is one of four key strands – along with sharing resources, being good neighbours and community action – all to encourage people to make a difference.

Join us in celebration of Volunteers Week in Bradford and join me for a paddle and an ice cream in the City Park fountains.

Dave Forrest

CEO of the Bradford Volunteer Centre

Dave Forrest MSc is the director and CEO of the Bradford Volunteer Centre.  The charity is one of only two volunteering charities to be awarded “Community Beacon” status by the NCVO.

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