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Volunteer Voices1st June 2024

Volunteers’ Week: An Introduction by Pip

Volunteers’ Week: An Introduction by pip

We are starting this Volunteers’ Week (3-9 June) a few days before the official start date. Join us throughout the week, as we highlight the invaluable time and support that our nearly 300 volunteers provide to The Historic Dockyard Chatham.

In today’s introduction the Dockyard’s Volunteer Co-Ordinator, Pip, breaks down what is happening throughout the week and why volunteers are vital to the Trust.

“This year’s Volunteer’s Week is filled with events and interesting talks. It is your opportunity to learn more about the range of volunteer groups that are a part of The Historic Dockyard Chatham, including the Historical Society, the RNLI volunteers, the Voluntary Service, and our Ships’ Volunteers.

As a part of Volunteers’ Week, we have a programme of events designed to thank our volunteers. They have the opportunity to take part in our annual volunteers’ picnic that brings together volunteers and their families from all our different departments. It is a chance for everyone to enjoy a picnic together in the beautiful gardens of our Commissioner’s House. We also have a trip to the Medway Queen arranged, as well as a special Volunteers’ Week Coffee Morning.

As the Volunteer Co-ordinator, I feel very lucky to work with such an enthusiastic and dedicated collective of volunteers which we have here at the Dockyard. We have a diverse range of individuals; I really enjoy talking to our volunteers hearing their stories and helping them get the most out of volunteering with us.

We have a cohort of volunteers who were Chatham dockers and quite a few navy veterans, they provide us with a wealth of knowledge about the Dockyard’s history and our historic vessels, as well as sharing their practical skills.

We also have lots of volunteers who have joined us from different backgrounds and careers that aren’t strictly nautical. We have a great community of individuals. It’s lovely to see the inter-generational and professional exchanges of skill and knowledge that takes place between our volunteer teams.

My job does have a very practical element, ensuring the volunteers have the right resources and training. It is a very varied role and pastoral support also is a key responsibility of mine. The monthly volunteer Coffee Mornings is one of my pastoral initiatives, it is a wonderful opportunity to bring everyone together, maintaining our volunteer community, and it gives everyone a chance to share a hot drink, cake and perhaps their worries, as well as catch up on recent developments onsite.

It’s a real privilege to work with our volunteers and I am always immensely impressed with all they do here at The Historic Dockyard Chatham.

So, I hope that you enjoy learning about the valuable and varied support our volunteers provide to the Dockyard through the blog posts that they have written for this year’s Volunteers’ Week.”

Volunteers’ Week celebrates volunteers’ amazing contributions to communities across the UK.

The celebration starts on the first Monday in June every year. It’s a chance to recognise, celebrate and thank the UK’s incredible volunteers for all they contribute to our local communities, the voluntary sector, and society as a whole.

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