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What is Volunteers' Week?

Volunteers Week is an annual celebration to acknowledge and thank the millions of people who contribute their time and skills to making a difference to charities, causes and local projects across the UK each year.

In its 39th year, the theme for 2023 is ‘Celebrate and Inspire’. Volunteers are often unsung heroes who commit their personal time, energy and expertise to making a positive contribution. 

Smarter, thoughtful and effective services that have greater impact. 

With types and styles of volunteering now extending across multiple areas, there's an increased drive for people to add greater value by applying their personal skills, knowledge and expertise to their volunteering solutions. This can be done by aligning your work experience with your passions and interests. 

Digital Marketing – offering digital marketing experience to create or manage social media channels or assist with brand awareness and promotion

Design Skills - graphic design skills could offer that much needed creative flair to an event poster or local appeal, that would otherwise cost the charity or cause valuable funds. 

Event planning skills – to organise local fundraising or networking events to raise the profile of the charity or cause.

IT Skills – to assist with a CRM system or the development of an improved website.

Accountancy Skills - help with budgeting and management of fundraising funds 

Reflect on real life experiences – offering personal experience of a real life event can provide a case study, assist in research or a chance to do an inspirational talk for people in a similar position.


The Positive Effects of Volunteering 

Volunteering presents an opportunity to support a cause close to an individual's heart, fulfil a purpose or to nourish and enrich personal goals, in ways that paid work may not. Almost one in five (17%) people reported volunteering at least once a month, about 9.2m people ( The increased focus and social value commitment is increasing the participation in volunteering and the positive effects that it can have on individuals and teams. Skills and charities can now be matched using portals and services. Volunteer opportunities, rights and expenses: Find volunteer opportunities - GOV.UK ( 

Benefits of volunteering  

  • Increased Confidence and Wellbeing - volunteering can provide a natural sense of accomplishment which provides a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction.

  • Improved Skills - Communication, time management, leadership, teamwork and collaboration are all skills that can be improved through volunteering.

  • Boost Career Development - volunteering activities can improve your CV and make you stand out from the crowd as you can offer another viewpoint.

  • Grow Your Network - as individuals approach Volunteering for different reasons, it will attract people from different backgrounds, demographics and education levels which will enable you to increase your connections.

  • Enhanced Team Spirit - by collectively supporting and working towards a common purpose, there will be an increased team motivation. 

Skills for Growth - SME Support Commitment to Volunteering 

Here at Skills for Growth – SME Support, we are making a difference to Greater Manchester with the benefits and training and support offered through our programme, but also as a team and on a personal level through our volunteering activities.

Committing to passions, projects and with the additional support of the two days volunteering entitlement from the GC Business Growth Hub, we can extend our positive impact.

Team Level

As a team, we have supported the DePaul Charity and Walking with the Wounded with fundraising events. These events were positioned to make the most impact by tapping into our ability to generate exposure and help raise the profile of each of the charities through our network.

DePaul Charity 
Walking across the streets of Greater Manchester, our team completed a 10-mile ‘weighted walk’ challenge with the aim of helping to carry the load for young people and raise funds and support DePaul. Wearing bright orange DePaul branded t-shirts, the money raised contributed towards offering a safe place to stay, alongside vital support and guidance to help young people achieve their ambitions and move towards a more positive future.

“The impact of Skills for Growth – SME Support and the wider team’s Weighted Walk fundraising is huge, and has the scope to transform the lives of many vulnerable young people. That’s a quarter of our yearly goal in Manchester!”

Walking with the Wounded 
Striding to make a difference, our team set out on a 12-mile charity walk around Manchester, to raise money and awareness around mental health and wellbeing and support leading veteran charity and Skills for Growth client, Walking with the Wounded

Raising over £1500, the funds contributed towards delivering employment, mental health, care coordination and volunteering programmes to get those who served, and their families, whether mentally, socially or physically wounded, back on their feet and making a positive contribution once more.  

Personal Level

On a personal level, the Volunteering activities which are currently being undertaken from the team cover an extensive remit from Volunteering at local Parkruns, providing assistance as an enterprise advisor at the local school, supporting life-changing Stroke research from the application of real-life experience, providing Sophrology assistance and support with Counselling and Dance teaching.


The Future

Whilst acknowledging our efforts and progress, we are always challenging ourselves to progress further. Our team is regularly encouraged to report on their social value and volunteering impact during our weekly team meetings. This enables us to stay in tune and raise the profile of our local charities, causes and projects. Over the next quarter, we will focus our attention on Celebrating and Inspiring by participating in team Volunteering days where we can apply our knowledge, skills and expertise to provide significant skills for growth. 

About the author

Skills for Growth - SME Support

Skills for Growth - SME Support

Skills for Growth - SME Support is a fully funded, tailored service to help upskill your employees and improve business productivity.