Happy Volunteers’ Week!

One word; volunteering. It has amazing powers to transform and change lives. It enables us to grow, boost our confidence, connect with each other and our community. Volunteering enhances our opportunities to learn and develop new skills. It helps us to listen better, work well in a team as well as individually. 

The world today needs many more selfless acts, which shift away our attention from materialism, “what I am entitled to have” and focus our efforts to empower people around us. Volunteering means being able to put ourselves at the service of other people, who are often less fortunate than us. 

I know that volunteering gave me so much. If anything, it gave me countless opportunities to meet some inspirational individuals who, by sacrificing a few hours (or more!) a week, helped to become better, more compassionate human beings. Churches, sport clubs, schools, there are so many places where we can volunteer! The key is to find a cause, which is close to our heart and which we feel passionate about. 

Volunteering also plays an instrumental role in our civic and political life; campaigning, delivering leaflets, door knocking helps us hugely to win elections, create “bridges of dialogue”, reach out to our residents, and often give a platform to make our voices heard. 

Despite great financial challenges, I do believe that we are all called to volunteer, in whatever form or shape. Volunteering is part of our human DNA, let’s remember it!

Happy Volunteers’ Week! 

More about the Volunteers’ Week can be found here.

* Michal Siewniak is a Lib Dem activist and councillor for Handside ward, Welwyn Hatfield.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Having spent my life in what can seen as part of the voluntary sector, while recruiting volunteers, but also, one way another, in politics, I am aghast at the way the present government that manages to use volunteering as a political tool. It’s not just about a cynical announcement for Carers’ Week, but also the understanding of volunteers as a workforce that costs a fraction of mainstream public expenditure. If they are looking for an army of volunteers “to support the NHS”, how long will it take before we have a Privatisers’ Week? We can all contribute to human happiness (including our own) by volunteering, but we need to be clear-eyed about the forces contributing to human misery.

  • Post 2010, many of us who had been active Liberals and then LDs for many years (in my case 48 years then) realised that volunteering had become a necessity if we were to maintain our ‘liberal’ values.

    I was one of many people (as Chair of a local Foodbank) to become involved in the exponential growth of the Foodbank movement after 2010. Between 2010 and 2020/21, the number of foodbank users has increased every year, from just under 26,000 at the end of 2009 to more than 2.56 million in May 2023….. a consequence of Government austerity measures (which some of us unsuccessfully tried to oppose).

    As for Geoff’s ‘privatiser week’, the privatised Royal Mail (who privatised it, Geoff ?) took over six working days to deliver my birthday card to my daughter despite the fact that it had a First Class stamp on it. Maybe someone can tell me what the percentage increase in the cost of a first class stamp has been since privatisation day and what the next day delivery stats were at that time. To quote the late great Laurel and Hardy…… ‘that’s another fine mess’.

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