Home » Carmarthenshire celebrates community connections during Volunteers’ Week 2024.
Carmarthenshire Charity Community West Wales

Carmarthenshire celebrates community connections during Volunteers’ Week 2024.

CAVS’ community events throughout Volunteers’ Week this year are supporting the ‘We are with you’ campaign. As a volunteer recruitment campaign, it is a means to raise the profile of volunteering across Carmarthenshire, whilst we champion citizen’s, communities, and charities/local groups. This is a dynamic relationship of vital parts which combine to support the whole of the county. 

Launched at the end of 2023, the campaign began with a 26-day advent calendar which can be found on both the Connect Platform and CAVS website:  Ideas for inexpensive Christmas gifts were shared alongside a digital clip from volunteering citizens who talked about their passions, how they offer help to their communities and the charity/group they had chosen to support them.

“Volunteering enhances what we already have – our core strengths and abilities, our passions and ideas, our knowledge and fascinations. Volunteering supports our sense of community, our dedication to friends and neighbours and it utilises our biggest commodity of ‘time’ to complement and enhance these very desires”, believes Jamie Horton, Community Volunteering Development Officer, with CAVS.

“I have been working with the Connecting Carmarthenshire partners to show how volunteering can empower citizen’s and support our county to be more resilient. Whilst we are relying more and more on the kindness of strangers it is important that we share the impact they are making, and celebrate their contributions to our society, local economy and future services”.

Robert Ramsaha-Southall, Community Research Engagement Officer, with one of the lead agencies, Nacro Cymru, continues “The ‘We Are With You’ series of Volunteer Celebration Events are ideal opportunities to bring volunteers together to celebrate their selfless dedication to the provider(s) they support.  Most citizens are not looking for any recognition but without them most providers would not be able to give the level of support to citizens within Carmarthenshire.  This is especially true with the rural areas. We just want to say thank you.”

Geena Ware, Community Engagement Project Worker, with the second lead agency, Pobl Group, also believes that  ‘it’s great to see communities come together at events like this to raise awareness of all the things happening locally. The event at Cwmaman Community Centre on June 7th , for instance, is supporting their regular Friday Community engagement, and we are privileged to support their commitment to local volunteering. Complementing what is working well, alongside a positive approach to co-production, is essential as we navigate the current crisis in volunteering”. 

The campaign continues into 2024 and includes five community events across the county where Connecting Carmarthenshire partners, Nacro, Pobl, Age Cymru Dyfed, Mencap, Mind Pembrokeshire/Carmarthen, The Wallich, with members of the CAVS team and Connect Carmarthenshire  – will offer opportunities for citizens to meet with a number of charities/groups who can support them to find a role which supports their own passions. The events will include thank you activities, special guests, free refreshments and is open to everyone – whether they be a current volunteer, thinking of volunteering or simply interested to find out more. Essentially these events are for YOU so please come and check them out. There will be volunteer certificates presented, a space to chat to like-minded people and you can also speak to members of the Connecting Carmarthenshire team, CAVS and groups working within your community.

  1. St. Peter’s Hall, Carmarthen Tuesday 4th June 10-2.
  2. Whitland Town, Wednesday 5th June 9.30-2.30.
  3. Llandysul Hall, Thursday 6th June 11-1.
  4. Llanelli Goods Shed Friday 7th June 11-2.
  5. Glanaman Community Centre Friday 7th June 10-2.

County Councillor Sue Allen, is a passionate advocate of volunteering and understands the impact that it can make on community cohesion and resilience.

She said: “The backbone of Whitland is undoubtedly its volunteers. They support all of the sports, sports fields, heritage, busy community halls, food bank, the charity shop for cats, and book shop. Cor Meibion Hendy Gwyn is more than 100 years old and has entertained and raised funds for local charities throughout many difficult times.

“National and International groups such as the Rotary Club of Narberth and Whitland, Women’s Institute, Round table, Merched y Wawr , Air Training Corps and Young Farmers are all represented in the Town of Whitland. The Fire Service has always been ready to support community events in their personal time and not to forget the young people who take great pride in their community and quietly litter pick or help residents with food waste bins.  Both schools regularly offer time of staff and pupils, out of school hours , to support community events and activities. 

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“A culmination of volunteer work was very evident at the amazing Whitland Street Food Festival on May 5th initiated by Joseff Edwards on behalf of the Gemma Harries Memorial CIC  that supports local and national charities. It was a magnificent event enjoyed by hundreds and hundreds of visitors that showcased Whitland at its best. We are looking forward to the ‘We are with you’ event on Friday 5th and are pleased that both the Town Hall and Memorial Hall will be used”.

‘Volunteering’ and ‘helping out’ support a massive third sector industry of ‘community support’ and we just want to say thank you.  This ‘community cwtch’ is well deserved and as we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Volunteers’ Week, we hope that you can get behind the ‘We are with you’ campaign. If you volunteer, please make a digital clip about why you volunteer so that we can add it to the collection which will be shared during the first week of June – contact [email protected] for more details.