Volunteers’ Week 2023: Celebrate and Inspire

Cedar Foundation marks Volunteers’ Week 2023, which is the 39th year of Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June). Cedar joined thousands of charities and voluntary organisations recognising the contribution volunteers make across the UK. With this year’s theme of ‘Celebrate and Inspire’ we hope to encourage people to be the change that we want to see and get involved in volunteering in whatever way works for them. 

The contribution of volunteers is often unseen and unrecognised by many, visible only through the incredible impact of their volunteering, so taking the time during Volunteers’ Week to celebrate their efforts and all they contribute to our local communities, the voluntary sector and society as a whole has never been more important. 

We celebrated our 37 volunteers, by holding a celebration event on Friday 2nd June in our Balmoral office. 

The event was attended by Chair of Cedar’s Executive Committee, Myrna Evans , Cedar’s Chief Executive Officer, Elaine Armstrong, Senior management team, the User Forum Representatives, volunteer supervisors and most importantly our amazing volunteers.  Myrna Evans opened the event welcoming those in attendance, and highlighted how important volunteers are to the organisation as a whole.  “ While I know that you choose to volunteer selflessly without expectation of recognition, we want to let you know just how much your dedication is appreciated. As a volunteer you commit to sharing the most precious of resources- your time- to make life better for the people you support.” 

Next, Breeda Doherty introduced our Volunteers and service users speakers who shared their experiences of volunteering within Cedar. 

Ewan started volunteering to do something good for other people in the community, he said “Actively playing a role in the life of a young person is something special” Ewan has since secured paid employment with Cedar. 

The Karuna service users welcomed the opportunity to tell us how much they appreciate their volunteers by creating a fun video which was played at the event.  The key message in the video was “ the residents staff and families really appreciate our Brilliant Volunteers, Thank you for all you do for us” 

Eveline then spoke about the satisfaction and enjoyment she experienced volunteering  at Karuna.  She has been so inspired she intends to take her learning back to Namibia, hoping to make a difference in her hometown. 

The first volunteer long service award was presented to Hugh Rainey by Elaine Armstrong, recognising 17 years of voluntary service to Cedar.  Marian Bryson Volunteer Co-ordinator, talked about the many roles that Hugh had supported with in Cedar, and thanked him for all the time that he has given to Cedar.  Hugh was overwhelmed by the award and talked about the support he has received from Marian over the years.

The finale of the event was a song from Volunteer and User Forum Member Donna Keatings, Donna sang her disco version of Happy by Pharrell Williams, and had everyone clapping along. 

As the event finished for lunch and a chance for everyone to catch up, Marian Bryson, Volunteer coordinator, said: “Volunteers' Week is an opportunity for Cedar to celebrate and recognise the fantastic contribution our volunteers make. Thanks to them, our services are enhanced and the organisation benefits from their experience, skills and willingness to support others. Volunteers are selfless people and we see this everyday throughout our services”. 


Thank you to all our volunteers!! 

Click link to learn more about volunteering here with us at Cedar: Current Volunteer Opportunities | The Cedar Foundation (rit.org.uk)