30 May 2014

The boss of one of Britain’s largest children’s charities has spent a day on the shop floor with some of its 11,000 volunteers to mark Volunteers’ Week (June 1-7).

A video produced by The Children’s Society shows Chief Executive Matthew Reed operating the till and ironing clothes in one of its retail shops in east London, attending a mother and baby session for refugee and migrant families and collecting donations on the streets of central Birmingham.

The Children’s Society is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Volunteers’ Week by promoting the many actions people can take to make a difference – whether they can spare 30 minutes, 30 days or even 30 weeks. Some of these actions will be posted on a volunteer blog every day throughout the week. The blog will also showcase a series of photos of volunteers from 30 years ago that have been dug out of the charity’s archive.

The organisation’s Twitter feed will post more than 50 quotes from young people, parents, customers and supporters, highlighting the difference that Children’s Society volunteers have made to their lives. Thank you letters are being written to dozens of regional newspapers highlighting the number of volunteers in each part of the country and events have been planned to say ‘thank you’ to volunteers who regularly give their time, energy and skills.

Matthew Reed said his memorable day working with volunteers was just a taste of the range of activities that people can get involved with to contribute to The Children’s Society’s mission of supporting the most disadvantaged children, young people and families.

He said: 'Every year for Volunteers’ Week we say thank you to our fantastic movement of volunteers in a whole range of different ways, but this year I personally wanted to demonstrate how important their contribution is. It was a really great day doing lots of volunteer roles – retail, voluntary fundraising, working in an office and spending time with young people and children in one of our children’s centres. They are just a few of the many volunteering tasks available at The Children’s Society.

'In the 30 years since Volunteers’ Week was established our volunteers have directly raised over £156m to support our work and helped deliver services that have changed the lives of more than 100,000 of the country’s most vulnerable children and young people.

'From volunteering in one of our shops, supporting fundraising in the community or directly volunteering to support a child or family we quite simply could not continue to deliver the essential services we do without our inspirational volunteers.'

Ends

Media enquiries

For more information please call The Children’s Society’s media team on 020 7841 4422 or email media@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors

  • The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life. Someone who acts on their behalf and can help guide them through the extremely complex system. These children deserve to be kept safe so they can recover from the trauma they have suffered and rebuild their lives.