Should volunteers get more recognition?

East Devon residents praise the work of volunteers but say they don’t do it for the recognition.

VOLUNTEERS are the selfless cogs in the workings of charities and other organisations across East Devon. They give their time freely and without any expectations of reward, but should they receive State recognition for what they do?

As Honiton man Steve Parsons calls on the Government to ensure St John Ambulance volunteers receive medals to mark the Queen’s diamond jubilee, The Herald asked residents if volunteers should be rewarded with recognition in Prime Minister David Cameron’s Big Society.

The response was mixed.

Some felt volunteers should receive more recognition, while others pointed out that volunteers give their time because they want to, not for recognition.

June Tucker, 75, of Honiton, said: “I think volunteers should get more recognition for the work they do. They do a good job and that is the main thing.

“Volunteers do it because they want to do it and nobody is forcing them to volunteer.”

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Hazel Franks, 65, said: “Absolutely, volunteers should get more recognition for the work they do - you can’t replace them.

“I think they have gone overboard with what they ask volunteers to do.

“I volunteer for charity - I find it fantastic and would do it every day.

“It is nice to know you are doing something good for someone.

“I would rather I didn’t get recognition for the work I do, as I don’t do it for recognition.

“Volunteering gives us pleasure and charities could not do without volunteers.”

Her friend, Anne Hyde, added: “I do think volunteers should be given more recognition as they are very important and the country would come to a halt without them.”

Jean Bell, 73, of Honiton, said: “I don’t think people realise what time is given by volunteers.

“The recognition they get, I think, would depend on what they do and how they volunteer.”

Neil Willcox, 43, of Seaton, said: “Volunteers probably should get more recognition for the work they do .

“I think volunteers can be relied on too much, but people can’t afford to work for nothing.

“Volunteers do important work. If it was not for them, who would do it?

“Although, volunteers don’t necessarily do it for the recognition they do it because they want to.”

Stuart Ford, 65, of Honiton, said: “No, because people volunteer because they want to - not to be recognised.

“A lot of volunteers do it for something to do.

“Without volunteers you would not get anything done.”

His wife added: “I think we have been a bit spoiled by getting volunteers to do work for nothing.

“They do ask too much of volunteers.”