Thinking of becoming a Volunteer in Harpenden but not sure of how to go about it?
Lots of people of all ages and interests want to help but find the process a little bit daunting. Who can I help? What experience do I need? How do I make contact? Will I enjoy the work?
Questions like these are all important in the quest to find what’s best for you and the charity you want to help. That’s why this new service has been established here in Harpenden with the backing of over 20 local charities. These voluntary organisations cover a wide spectrum of activity offering volunteers the opportunity to use many different skills in varying locations with flexible hours and seasonal or regular opportunities to suit your availability.
How your help can make a difference
All our participating organisations are listed on our web site with details of how they operate and who they need to help them. Information is updated frequently with news of their events and campaigns. All to give you an idea of how your help can make a difference serving the community.
Volunteering made easy
Now you can save time and effort by approaching us to find a solution to becoming a volunteer. Just use our web site to explore all the exciting opportunities.
Could you be a befriender and help vulnerable residents all over Harpenden?
The Harpenden Trust befriending service brings those living on their own into contact with a regular visitor (with many bonds and friendships forming as a result) and has been active since 2016. Since then, the service has steadily grown, but post Lockdown demand has grown exponentially. Indeed, since Lockdown, befriending requests have increased three-fold and The Trust is in real need of volunteers to match demand from those who need it.
For vulnerable residents all over Harpenden, during Lockdown much needed social contact, vital shopping trips, even walks to connect with the community were all suddenly removed, leaving many feeling alone and worried. Through the call centre which The Harpenden Trust managed to take calls for anyone in need throughout Lockdown, the team logged over 60 calls for befriending or social contact, which befrienders managed via telephone through Lockdown and now continue face to face where possible.
As well as increased members of the community requesting the befriending service, the number of men requesting the service has jumped from 1% to 30%.
As well as the benefits befriending brings in terms of regular contact and reducing isolation, the befriending service has also meant volunteers have been able to spot other areas the befriendee could benefit from support, which would otherwise have gone unnoticed.
Sally Arbuthnott, Team Leader, Befriending, says: “We don’t see befriending as a temporary solution, we are connecting people for lasting friendships. It's not only those befriended who benefit, it offers the opportunity to meet people with years of experience, with different ideas and views on life. We work not only to support people, but match befrienders and befriendees through hobbies or mutual interests.”
As a 1-2-1 relationship is most beneficial to build the foundations of trust and friendship, the Harpenden Trust would ideally like one befriender to each befriendee.
With requests still coming in, demand for befriending never being higher and many volunteers now supporting more than one befriendee, the Harpenden Trust is now urging the community to get in touch if they feel they could support a more vulnerable neighbour with regular contact. To connect with The Harpenden Trust about being a befriender, please contact email@example.com
If you love Harpenden, then why not join the Harpenden Society
The Harpenden Society are launching a membership drive this summer to encourage local people to get involved and support them in their efforts to keep Harpenden a wonderful place to live and work. The Society promotes and encourages a range local activities and initiatives from public meetings and community events to supporting our High Street and lobbying the local council.
They publish a quarterly newsletter and have an active web site.
If you want to be informed about the important issues affecting life in Harpenden then you need to be a member.
Joining is easy and inexpensive, (£8 single/ £10 family). Send your name(s) address and email address to:
making the payment into the Society's bank account – sort code 60-10-07, account number 28772946 – or by cheque made payable to ‘The Harpenden Society’ to our Treasurer Harry Downie at 66 Eastmoor Park, Harpenden AL5 1BW.