Helen Bach: Let’s hear it for volunteers

Volunteers from Corby Food Bank collect donations at Tesco in Corby
Volunteers from Corby Food Bank collect donations at Tesco in Corby

I’m fairly certain this country would grind to a halt without voluntary workers.

The volunteer workforce is huge, often underappreciated, but absolutely essential.

I recently read a Facebook post which said that voluntary workers aren’t paid because the work they do is priceless, and I think that’s a good way of summing it up.

As we’re well aware, the recent few years have been incredibly tough – indeed they still are for many people.

The country may be coming out of recession, but with wages having not increased for most, the ‘good times’ seem a very long way off.

The importance of food banks underlines this fact.

Firstly, let me say thank goodness that they exist – they do a terrific job.

But it also greatly saddens me that they are needed by so many people.

A so-called major world economy like ours still has people who have so little money that they need to use foodbanks to feed their families.

Perhaps something for expense-scandal MPs, tax-minimising celebrities and millionaire-bonus bankers to think about?

But on a more cheerful note, I read a story a local food bank shared on their Facebook page – I’m sure they won’t mind me sharing it with you.

The volunteers had gone to a church in the town to collect their weekly donations.

There they were given some bags donated by an elderly parishioner.

It transpired that she’d had a small win playing bingo, and had bought extra for the food bank with her winnings.

Apparently, she did that each time she won some money.

I thought it was truly heartwarming that she shared her good fortune with others.

Being an elderly pensioner, she probably didn’t have much, but what she had she was willing to share.

A story which goes to help restore my faith in humanity – a faith which I have to admit takes a battering every time I hear about the aforementioned MPs, celebs, bankers etc.

So can I take this opportunity to say thank you to all the voluntary workers out there, and the people who donate their time and/or money to helping those in need – where would we be without people like you?

Read more from Helen here.