Cotswold volunteer organisation reports surge in interest after Olympics
A COTSWOLD volunteer organisation says it has seen a surge in interest thanks to this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.
At the beginning of the year, Cotswold Volunteer Centre had 25 regular volunteers. Since London 2012, a further 40 individuals have signed up for regular voluntary work in the community.
Volunteer coordinator Judy Mills said there had been a notable increase in enquiries from young people.
"We have noticed a rise in enquiries from university graduates with specialist skills," she said.
"A lot of graduates have skills in graphic design or PR and want to get some practical experience that will enhance their CVs, as well as lending a hand in the local community."
There has also been an increase in the number of people in full-time work signing up to volunteer, giving up time of an evening or at weekends.
Cotswold Volunteer Centre has more than 200 volunteering opportunities and matches volunteers to projects that make the most of their experience.
Judy added: "We’re always happy to tailor projects to make the most of our volunteers’ interests and skills."
The organisation has a strong online presence, which has helped to engage young people. Volunteers can sign up online, as well as through Facebook and Twitter.
Cotswold Volunteers has the second highest number of volunteers in Gloucestershire and is ranked 18th in England.
Judy said: "I think people are more willing to volunteer in rural areas because there is a stronger sense of community than in big cities." Alice Luce, a 17-year-old student from Cirencester, volunteered as a Games Maker at the Paralympics.
"I am 100 percent hoping to volunteer again after my amazing experience at London 2012," she said.
"As a student, I find it fairly easy to make time to volunteer around my studies. You gain so much experience and knowledge, I think more people should consider it and make time to volunteer."
According to statistics from the International Olympic Committee, more than 1.1 million people applied to volunteer during the Games, with 100,000 providing direct services and a further 400,000 offering information, interpretation and other services.
To contact Cotswold Volunteers call 01285 658802 or go to cotswoldvolunteers.org