Celebrating volunteers across the town on Eastbourne seafront

Volunteers from across Eastbourne had a huge get together to promote Volunteers Week.

Thursday, 14th June 2018, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:34 pm

People gathered on the beach near Eastbourne Pier following invites encouraging them to do so on social media.

Organiser Helen Burton said, “It was so much fun. There was a great turn out and with Voices Choir singing the event had a party like atmosphere.

“Volunteers were able to talk to MP Stephen Lloyd and meet our new mayor, and different groups learnt more about each other too.

“I think perhaps this should become an annual event in Eastbourne for Volunteers Week, and next year we should turn it into a proper party.”

The gathering was part of a much larger campaign that Eastbourne Volunteers ran during Volunteers Week.

One of the aims of the project is to help people to get involved with their communities through volunteering, and the project profiled local community champions who have done great things for Eastbourne as volunteers.

Ian Westgate has been volunteering for more than 50 years from Scouting in the 1960s to his present-day role chairing the Eastbourne Access Group, which helps Eastbourne become more disability friendly.

He is particularly proud of their free annual publication Eastbourne’s Guide for Disabled People. In 2003 the Multiple Sclerosis Society saw him establish a weekly exercise project for people with neurological conditions that still operates today.

Helen Burton, who founded the Eastbourne Volunteers project, started volunteering as she felt isolated and wanted to do something positive for her community.

She said, “Volunteering has changed my life beyond all recognition.

“I feel part of my community now and am so much happier. I have a lot of fun volunteering and have made a lot of new friends. I’d recommend it to anyone.”

The Eastbourne Volunteers Community Hub in the town centre can help people find the perfect volunteering role.

Helen added, “From bee-keeping to bookkeeping the possibilities are endless.”

You can visit their website at www.eastbournevolunteers.co.uk for more information or find them at The Labyrinth, 7 Mark Lane.