Wiltshire’s Volunteer Reference Group, of which Volunteer Centre Wiltshire in Chippenham is a member, is showing how its 100,000 volunteers are valued. 

Its Valuing Volunteers Promise enables voluntary and community groups to demonstrate their commitment to choice, inclusion, support, safety, reimbursement and reward. 

The 'promise' promotes the desire to ensure volunteering in Wiltshire is an inclusive activity that is available, accessible and rewarding for all of those wishing to participate.

The aim is for voluntary and community groups who use volunteers in their work to adopt good practice in volunteer management and demonstrate an appreciation of the valuable contributions made by volunteers.

There are 27 voluntary and community groups signed up to the 'promise' including Age UK Wiltshire, Agneas Salisbury International Arts Festival, Alzheimer’s Society, Carer Support Wiltshire, Community First, Develop Enhancing Community Support, Doorway, English Heritage, Home-Start Kennet, Kennet Friends, Kennet Furniture Refurbiz, KeyRing, Market Lavington Museum, MHA Fairways, Prospect Hospice, Splash Wiltshire, Splitz Support Service, St Michael’s Community Centre, West Lavington Parish Council, Wylye Coyotes Afterschool Club, Wiltshire and Swindon Sports Partnership, Wiltshire College, Wiltshire Compact, Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.

These groups are committed to supporting their volunteers by offering training where necessary, reimbursing their volunteers for any expenses such as travelling whilst carrying out their role, and rewarding their volunteers for their efforts.

The groups will ensure volunteering opportunities are open and accessible with simple and consistent processes, they will not ask their volunteers to undertake tasks they do not feel comfortable with and will ensure they are kept safe.

Simone Lord, Volunteer Centre Manager, said: "The introduction of the Valuing Volunteers Promise allows groups to demonstrate to their current and potential volunteers that they are committed to ensuring they feel valued in their role as a volunteer.

"Volunteers form an often vital part of many voluntary and community groups and can provide assistance, not only in the time they give, but also with their knowledge and skills.

"Without volunteers some of these groups may not be able to function so are essential in contributing to a thriving and diverse voluntary and community sector."

Voluntary and community groups can find out more about signing up to the Valuing Volunteers Promise by contacting Develop Enhancing Community Support on 0845 034 5250.

Those interested in volunteering can contact the volunteer advisor at Volunteer Centre Wiltshire by calling 0845 521 6224 or visit www.volunteercentrewiltshire.org.uk.