Heathfield and District Volunteer Centre needs new Chair to take helm in 2018

18th January

In the second of our news features on the amazing volunteers that help to provide vital services to the people of Heathfield and surrounding villages; we are finding out about the HDVC in an interview with their Chair of Trustees, Ann Kenward.

The Heathfield and District Volunteer Centre was set up about 18 months ago with the aim of promoting volunteering to the wider community. The Centre works with over 60 community groups and charities to pair up those wanting to volunteer with those in need of help.

“Many, but not all volunteers are retired, and in fact we are working with the Heathfield Duke of Edinburgh Award Programme to place volunteers for that section of the programme and with  Heathfield Community College to use volunteering as a work placement experience with some of their students. The volunteering experience can be fun, challenging, rewarding and a great way to meet new people.“ Ann Kenward

Volunteering can come in many forms, listed below are just a few examples of the many areas where help is needed.

  • Dog walking
  • Driving
  • Charity shop retail support
  • Carer support for respite
  • Companionship for those who are housebound
  • Event support for – The Heathfield Show, Heffle Fair, le Marche
  • Outdoor opportunities with the Woodland Trust
  • Supporting young people with the scouts, Cubs and Guides
  • IT support for the housebound and elderly

The role the Centre plays is vital. A while back, Age Concern were struggling to find drivers to help ferry elderly residents to vital appointments and on shopping trips; in the absence of a regular bus service, these trips would often be the only way for a Heathfield resident to go further afield.  They only had three regular drivers and the service was extremely limited.  After the HDVC came on board to recruit volunteers, they now have 21 drivers and can offer a significantly improved service. Proof of the important job the Centre does.

Ann is stepping down from her role in February, so the HDVC is in need of a new Chair of Trustees and Organiser, this could be split into two roles, but either way you need to be looking for a rewarding challenge and have at least five spare hours a week. There is also a new website in the pipeline and they are increasing their use of social media to raise awareness.

The Centre is housed in the Parish Council Offices in Heathfield High St and is open:

Monday –       10-12

Wednesday – 1-3

Friday –           1-3

If you are interested in the role or just want to volunteer, pop in for a chat or contact Ann on 07568138534 or email:  volunteer@hdvc.org.uk