1 June 2016

It’s Volunteers Week and a great time to find out about volunteering opportunities in the city, as well as thanking all volunteers like Alex who make Sheffield wonderful.

Alex Thompson, age 24:

Alex is Special Olympics GB athlete who helps young people with learning disabilities take part in sports. He won a gold medal for basketball at last year’s Special Olympics in Los Angeles and has a learning disability himself.

Alex has been volunteering from a young age. At 16 he became the first person with a learning disability to be a member of SAYLs (Sheffield Academy for Young Leaders in Sport). He now volunteers at The Burton Street Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that supports people with disabilities, and every Friday helps people play sport.

Alex said: “I volunteer to help people with special needs. I like being part of a team and helping out. I like being with all the staff and clients – they’re my friends as well.”

Alex is taking part in next year’s Special Olympic National Games which are being held in Sheffield from 7 to 11 August 2017.

The city will see around 2,600 competitors and an additional 6,000 of their family and friends all staying here for a week.

900 volunteers are needed to help make The Games a success. More than 160 people have already signed up. Visit www.sheffield2017.org.uk to volunteer and be part of something special.

Find out about volunteering opportunities in Sheffield:

Voluntary Action Sheffield (VAS) promotes and supports volunteering within the city. It helped 2,300 people volunteer last year.

To celebrate volunteer week and its 90 birthday, VAS is holding a Volunteer Recruitment Fair and street party on Thursday 9 June at The Circle on Rockingham Lane in Sheffield (S1 4FW)

  • The recruitment fair runs from 10.00am to 3.00pm
  • The street party runs from 12.30 to 3pm

Sue White, Chief Executive at VAS, said, “The value of volunteering in our City can’t be underestimated and we are delighted to be celebrating the work of volunteers as part of national Volunteer Week, and VAS’s 90th Anniversary.

“Volunteering makes a huge contribution to our City’s economy – an estimated £500 million per year. And added to that is the social value in terms of the individuals and organisations who are helped and supported, and the value to individual volunteers themselves in building skills and confidence, and improving wellbeing. All that is certainly worth celebrating!”

Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for community services at Sheffield City Council, added: “I would like to thank everyone who volunteers in Sheffield and provides valuable support in a huge number of areas, from libraries to lunch clubs, literacy, litter and more.

“There are lots of ways people can get involved and help support their city. It’s rewarding work and can make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Visit www.vas.org.uk or call VAS on 0114 253 6600 to find out about volunteering opportunities in Sheffield.