PICTURE GALLERY: Volunteers donate more than 170 hours to help groups in East Northants

Spire Homes volunteers at the Underground Centre
Spire Homes volunteers at the Underground Centre

Volunteers have given up more than 170 hours of their time to help others in the community.

Staff from Spire Homes, Keepmoat and Dulux Decorators Centre gave up their time to help out in East Northants as part of National Volunteers Week.

Activities ranged from fixing vandalised toilets, sprucing up community rooms, holding thank-you tea parties and running family fun days during half-term.

The week kicked off on June 1 with a visit to Stanwick Lakes’ Story Festival where Spire Homes staff read stories, built forts, manned a catapult and helped run craft workshops for children over the two days.

The following Monday, more volunteers went to Stanwick Lakes armed with paintbrushes to give a fresh finish to the visitors’ centre and decorate toilets that had been vandalised.

Mel Humphreys, marketing and events co-ordinator at Stanwick Lakes, said: “Volunteers are vital for places like us.

“We rely heavily on people giving up their time to help our rangers conserve wildlife, ensure the footpaths are accessible for visitors and to run events like our Story Festival.

“The volunteers from Spire Homes and Keepmoat have been brilliant –our toilets were vandalised in April but we haven’t had the money or manpower to fully restore them until now.

“They were also a huge help to us during the Story Festival – they really got stuck in with the visitors.”

On Thursday, Spire Homes staff volunteered to support staff at Northamptonshire Carers to provide a thank-you tea party for their volunteers.

Liz Cullinan at Northamptonshire Carers said: “Our volunteers do invaluable work throughout the year.

“They really are unsung heroes.

“In the last year, the number of unpaid carers we support has increased by 50 per cent to 10,000 which shows just how much unpaid work is going on behind-the-scenes.

“Thanks to the volunteers at Spire Homes we’ve been able to give some of our carers a well-earned tea break – it works well for us too because we get to spend some time getting to know our volunteers a bit more whilst they can relax for a while.”

Kings Cliffe Underground Youth Centre also got a makeover on June 6 when Spire Homes were joined by Keepmoat to give the main room, kitchen and wash closet a fresh look.

Katy Weeks, Underground development manager at the centre, said: “Underground are hugely grateful to Spire Homes and Keepmoat for their help and support.

“Having the painting task completed was such a big help to us and being able to provide an opportunity for Volunteers Week made it even better.”

Staff also volunteered to carry out a DIY SOS makeover inside Oakham Baptist Church to make better use of the building’s space so more community activities can be run there.

Talking about the week, Helen Mead, customer engagement team manager at Spire Homes, said: “Giving back to the community is a really important part of our work at Spire Homes.

“We know that staff find it really rewarding to have the opportunity to get out and do something in the community other than their usual day job.”

National Volunteer Week ran from June 1 to June 12 and celebrates the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK while encouraging others to volunteer their time to support organisations and individuals.

Spire Homes provides more than 5,000 homes in towns and villages throughout Northamptonshire and Rutland and is part of the Longhurst Group.