THE Rotary Clubs in Coventry are getting behind a new, national event to help more people find volunteering opportunities and build a legacy of generosity and community from the pandemic.
Volunteer Expo Online, which is being hosted by Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland, takes place over May 7-8.
It’s free and will connect individuals and organisations from across society to inspire and celebrate those who love to give something back.
Headline speakers include award-winning broadcaster and adventurer Ben Fogle and former heavyweight boxer and mental health campaigner Frank Bruno.
Other guests include BBC Radio 1 presenter and author Katie Thistleton whose work around mental health awareness includes ambassador roles with Place2be and YoungMinds charities. She is also a trained counsellor.
A recent survey by the Together Coalition found that an estimated 12.4million people have volunteered during the Covid-19 pandemic, and 4.6million of those did so for the first time.
Volunteer Expo Online aims to help even more people find meaningful volunteering opportunities to suit their interests, time commitments and desire to make a difference.
The event will feature over 60 virtual exhibition stands, with visitors being able to chat and meet with a range of local, national and international charities and social impact organisations, including Age UK, Dementia UK, Alzheimer’s Society, ShelterBox, Cancer Research UK, Barnardo’s, The Salvation Army, St John Ambulance, Motor Neurone Disease Association, RSPB, Lepra, Home Start and The Royal Air Forces Association and Army Cadets.
On the bill for the two-day event are speakers ranging from celebrity campaigners and sector leaders to volunteer heroes all sharing their stories of volunteering.
Colin Winstone, speaking for Coventry Rotary Clubs, said: “The idea behind Rotary first launching this event back in 2019 was to highlight the amazing impact that volunteering makes to society. Little did we know that the world would be in a very different place a few years on.
“Although a lot in society has changed, many things possibly permanently, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown into sharp focus not only the need for volunteers, but the appetite people have to pull together in their community.”
“We hope that Volunteer Expo can be a part of that legacy and leave a positive impact going forward. It’s a great chance to learn more about how you can help. I find volunteering hugely rewarding and fun on a personal level, and would encourage people, whether a new or existing volunteer, to join us.”
Visitors will also enjoy a packed programme of workshops covering everything from mental health to plastic pollution and disability-inclusive volunteering to digital fundraising.
To find out more visit www.volunteerexpo.co.uk
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