A new campaign encouraging more people to volunteer launches in Surrey Heath today.
The ‘Collect Smiles’ campaign, run by charity specialists Voluntary Support North Surrey (VSNS), with support from Surrey Heath Borough Council, taps into the idea of the feel-good rewards volunteers experience through helping others.
The campaign includes a combination of online social media as well as posters and leaflets in community areas around the borough. Featuring volunteers and the emotions they experience through volunteering, the campaign asks people to get involved by donating their time to causes they care about. The campaign is also being shared with local groups, giving them a complete pack of resources for them to use in their own volunteer recruitment campaigns.
Surrey Heath is home to over 500 charities and community groups. Many of these organisations delivering vital help and services to residents depend on people volunteering their time for a good cause.
Research shows that fewer people are volunteering: the Community Life Survey* estimated 16% of people volunteered for one hour a month during 2021/22, down from about 23% in 2019/20. But the need for more volunteers is growing as charities deal with increased demand, with events such as the cost-of-living crisis having an impact.
Solette Sheppardson, Chief Executive Officer at VSNS, explained: “We all have a part to play in working together for good.
“Studies have shown that smiling releases feel-good endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin, which lift our mood and relax us and the people around us. As a volunteer, you are not just helping others; you are creating a healthier and more connected community.”
Surrey Heath Portfolio Holder for Inclusion and Housing, Cllr Lisa Finan-Cooke said: "Volunteering is a great way to spread happiness - and what better way to do that than volunteering in your local community!
"We’re keen to encourage residents of Surrey Heath to come forward and support the hundreds of local charities currently in need of volunteers. There’s a wide range of volunteering opportunities to suit your interests - and when you give your time, you make your community that little bit better.
"So spread some happiness in Surrey Heath and volunteer today with Voluntary Support North Surrey."
There is a wide range of volunteering opportunities to suit everyone’s interests and the time you have to give. To get involved, follow #VolunteerSurreyHeath, visit Voluntary Support North Surrey’s website (external link) or call 01276 402789.