04 February 2013

Northamptonshire County Council is encouraging more people to get involved and volunteer.

Volunteers are needed for various roles across the council including in libraries, country parks and the archives service.

Being a volunteer is a chance for people to gain experience and new skills, receive training, grow in confidence, make new friends and at the same time, do something worthwhile.

Volunteers make a significant contribution to many council services. Volunteers have supported the county's 36 libraries for several years, and there are now almost 600 volunteers working in a variety of ways such as helping people to use a computer, running a homework club, helping in the library shop or listening to children read.

Without their support, the council would be unable to continue to offer these types of extra activities that many library users rely on and enjoy.

Cabinet member for customers and communities Councillor Heather Smith said: “Our library volunteers are a great example of how a volunteering scheme can make a real difference - not just to council services, but to the local community and of course, the people who actually get involved and volunteer.

“Without their time and effort, libraries simply couldn’t afford to offer all the extra activities and events that library users rely on. In fact, we are currently looking for another 200 volunteers to help the libraries deliver even more.”

Other council services are also looking for volunteers. For example, local history fans might be interested in volunteering for the council’s archives and heritage service. From helping to preserve the archives to making the collections more accessible, the service needs people to get involved and volunteer at Northamptonshire Record Office, which holds over 800 years of the county’s fascinating heritage.

And those people who enjoy the great outdoors should consider volunteering in one of the county’s country parks. It’s an opportunity to work with the country park rangers to help develop and enhance the parks as well as to get fit, learn some new skills and help local wildlife.

There are also opportunities within emergency planning and Northamptonshire Sport with more to be added in coming months.

Councillor Smith said: “There has never been a better time to get involved and volunteer. It’s a chance to gain experience and new skills as well as meet new people and do something rewarding and worthwhile in your local community. Volunteers can come from different backgrounds, walks of life, age groups, and have different abilities; everyone has something to offer and who knows where it might lead!”

To find out more about volunteering, people can visit the council new volunteering webpages. These include details of what opportunities are available as well as a new video of local volunteers sharing their experiences and thoughts on volunteering.