Hundreds of volunteers sign up to make a change in Northamptonshire during The Big Help Out weekend

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The Big Help Out weekend, which took place Friday 7th – Sunday 9th June 2024, saw hundreds of volunteers from across Northamptonshire show up to support local charities in their work to improve the lives of our most vulnerable residents.

23","classid":1073872969,"properties":[201342446,"1",201342447,"5",201342448,"1",201342449,"1",469777841,"calibri",469777842,"",469777843,"calibri",469777844,"calibri",201341986,"1",469769226,"calibri",268442635,"22",469775450,"normaltextrun",201340122,"1",134233614,"true",469778129,"normaltextrun",335572020,"1",469778324,"default="" paragraph="" font"]">The Big Help Out saw various charities and volunteer-led organisations host events to showcase their available volunteering opportunities.

Restore Northampton, a charity focused on bringing hope and compassion to families experiencing hardship, partnered with Central Vineyard Church to host a Big Help Out Family Fun Day. This event created 40 volunteering opportunities, from cake baking, running fairground stalls, overseeing a bouncy castle and looking after families in the sensory play space.

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A volunteer from Restore Northampton said at the end of the day: “I never imagined we would reach so many people, I expected 30, but we have had over 300! It’s just been amazing to see all the volunteers work so well together to host such an impressive event.”

Volunteers at Baby Basic's starter pack building sessions put together 20 packsVolunteers at Baby Basic's starter pack building sessions put together 20 packs
Volunteers at Baby Basic's starter pack building sessions put together 20 packs

A Family Fun Day was also hosted at Hemmingwell Community Centre, where volunteers facilitated a variety of activities including a bouncy castle, games and crafts, and a community café.

At Crick Jubilee Wood, volunteers welcomed residents to information sessions explaining the weekend volunteering opportunities available maintaining and preserving the woodland.

In Oundle, volunteers supported open gardens across the townt an event organised by community group Creative Oundle.

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Baby Basics Northampton hosted starter pack building sessions for volunteers at their office in Wollaston. These sessions enabled the creation of 20 Moses baskets starter packs for new parents.

Lord-Lieutenant James Saunders Watson supported Crick Woodlands volunteer driveLord-Lieutenant James Saunders Watson supported Crick Woodlands volunteer drive
Lord-Lieutenant James Saunders Watson supported Crick Woodlands volunteer drive

This year, local Big Help Out activities were led by Northamptonshire Community Foundation, in partnership with the Lord-Leftenant's Office. Representatives and ambassadors from the foundation, and Lord-Leftenant James Saunders Watson, attended several events across the weekend to highlight the vital importance of volunteering in your local community.

Rachel McGrath, Chief Executive of Northamptonshire Community Foundationsaid: “I’m delighted that Northamptonshire Community Foundation took the lead on The Big Help Out Committee this year, in partnership with the Lord-Lieutenant's Office and partner agencies including Groundworks, Serve, SNVB, Daventry Volunteer Centre, Northamptonshire Sports and West Northamptonshire Council.

“Our local charities are doing vital work to provide for those in need, and so many of them depend on the support of volunteers. Volunteering is such a rewarding activity for everyone involved: volunteers, organisations and their beneficiaries.

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“If you were inspired by a volunteer during The Big Help Out, please do consider nominating them for a Rose of Northamptonshire Award before nominations close on 20th June. It’s so important that we recognise and celebrate our local volunteers and thank them for their work.”

Restore Northampton Family Fun DayRestore Northampton Family Fun Day
Restore Northampton Family Fun Day

If you’d like to continue the momentum gathered by The Big Help Out, consider contacting charities in your local area to find out how you can offer your support.

To find out more about Northamptonshire Community Foundation, the largest independent grant-making charity in the county, visit: www.ncf.uk.com