Tom Arran

Tom Arran

It’s time to celebrate Hull’s Volunteers

This week is Volunteers’ Week and Hull certainly has something to celebrate.  Organised by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations(NVCO), the week is the perfect opportunity to celebrate and say thank you for the fantastic contribution thousands of volunteers make across Hull.

The city of Hull is incredibly unique with its continued city-wide Volunteering Programme – inspired by the 2012 Olympic Games Maker Volunteer Programme – it is the only citywide Volunteering Programme of its kind in the UK.

Established as an integral part of the Hull 2017 programme, the Volunteering Programme at Absolutely Cultured has continued at pace, as the blue-coated volunteers continue to show that there is much more to Hull’s story.

Since the close of its year as UK City of Culture 2017, there are thousands of blue-coated volunteers still active across the city In our last wave of recruitment we recruited over 70 Under 21 year olds who are helping to bring new energy and ideas to the team.

In 2019, an average week for the Volunteer Programme includes over 2,000 hours of volunteering and 250 different volunteers taking part in at least one shift a week.

The volunteers now work with over 150 different organisations across the city further afield and they are keen to support many different events – from small gatherings to mass participation events like Dominoes.

Since 2017, thanks to funding from partners including Arts Council England, Hull City Council, Spirit of 2012, Nesta and the Office for Civil Society at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the programme has continued to grow and diversify, maturing from its initial arts and cultural focus with opportunities for volunteers now including health and wellbeing, education, sport, business, tourism and community empowerment.

Innovative volunteer-led projects have made a real difference in communities, from brightening up corners of the city with colourful tulips, community breakfasts to a project with Dove House Hospice which aims to help children and teachers talk more openly about death and loss.

Shaun Crummey, Head of Volunteering at Absolutely Cultured, said:“We’re tremendously proud of each and every one of our volunteers and the incredible work they do. We want to use this opportunity to say thank you.

“The volunteers have become synonymous with a well-known warm welcome to the city and region, they continue to be flag bearers for the city of Hull and are helping to put Hull on the map as a truly innovative and creative city.

“There’s much work that goes on behind the scenes to enable, nurture and empower progressive volunteer management and to promote the shear potential of volunteering.

“The introduction of volunteer-led social action projects like Tulips, Lost not Loss, Bikes and Beans, Stories from Fountain Road and the Orchard Park Breakfast Project, have been mobilising communities through volunteer support, to shape creative, aspirational and celebratory solutions led by community members. What we’ve got here in Hull is so incredibly unique – it needs to be celebrated and this week gives us the perfect opportunity to do this.”