Volunteers sought to help communities cope with the cold weather

Charities are urgently seeking extra volunteers to help people and local communities cope with prolonged freezing weather conditions.

Charities are urgently seeking extra volunteers to help people and local communities cope with prolonged freezing weather conditions.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations is calling on people to put themselves forward to help deliver meals on wheels, visit elderly neighbours or relatives or man other vital community services during the coldest weather in 30 years.

Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said: "Volunteers make a huge contribution to local communities and we need them now more than ever to cope with the surge in demand brought on by the snow.

"Organisations helping the homeless and people who are elderly or vulnerable are currently under the most pressure but we hope the Dunkirk Spirit brought out by the snow will encourage people to continue volunteering for all sorts of charities long after it has melted."


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NCVO is leading a national campaign, called 'What Do You Believe In?' to encourage people to support causes they care about by donating money or volunteering.

A total of 73 per cent of adults in Britain volunteer in some way with 17.7million people volunteering formally at least once a year through specific groups or organisations. It is estimated Britain's volunteers contribute �22.7bn to the economy.

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A string of high profile celebrities volunteer their time for causes they believe in. Angelina Jolie is a goodwill ambassador for the UN, actor Seth Green volunteers for Amnesty International while fashion stylist Nicky Hambleton Jones and Olympic swimmer Mark Foster have worked a stint in a Barnardo's charity shop, to name just a few.

Volunteering includes all kinds of activities from helping out at a one-off event through to a regular commitment manning telephone helplines, working in charity shops or helping run clubs such as Scouts and Guides.

To find out more about volunteering and opportunities in your area, visit www.whatdoyoubelievein.org.uk

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