Time to make your New Year resolution...
Merton residents are being asked to make a New Year resolution to help others by becoming a volunteer in 2013.
The Merton Partnership, which includes the voluntary sector, Merton Council, police, fire brigade and Merton Chamber of Commerce, is calling on people to commit to volunteering, as part of a campaign which started on Wednesday (January 2).
Called Shout about your volunteering (SAYV), the campaign will celebrate people who live and work in Merton and give their time for the benefit of the community.
Throughout January, visitors to the Civic Centre in Morden and Vestry Hall in Mitcham will be able to see an exhibition of volunteers and find out how they make a difference and are helping make Merton a great place in which to live and work. Examples of Merton's volunteers include a trustee, a school governor, a 14-year-old charity shop volunteer and a virtual volunteer.
Merton Chamber of Commerce has just introduced a new volunteering policy for its staff, who will be given an additional two days per year in which to volunteer in the local community.
Diana Sterck, Chamber Chief Executive, said: "Many of our staff are already volunteering on a regular basis so we want to build on these excellent foundations by actively promoting, encouraging and recognising the importance of volunteering in the community".
Merton Council and Merton Voluntary Service Council (MVSC) will be tweeting volunteers' stories throughout January and will include the hashtag #SAYV to enable everyone to get involved in the Shout about your volunteering conversation and share the value of volunteers’ work to Merton.
Chair of the Merton Partnership and Leader of Merton Council Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: "We have a successful partnership in Merton and are very strong on volunteering. Merton is lucky to be home to many talented people who give of their time and skills for the benefit of the community. We want to celebrate this and get more people involved in volunteering in Merton."
MVSC Volunteering Strategy Programme Manager Hayley James said: "It has been inspiring meeting the people who give their time and make Merton the great borough that it is. The range of ways in which people can get involved is evident in these stories."
Anyone interested in joining the campaign should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8685 2272.
The first volunteer is a graphic designer called Stuart Simmons - a "virtual volunteer" who used his professional skills to design a logo for a Morden-based charity, although he lives in Australia!
January 3, 2013