Celebrating our Volunteers
+ Volunteer of the Year 2023
Volunteers are essential to Church Army’s mission in communities across the UK and Ireland. By offering their skills and time, they help improve the quality of life of countless people. But volunteering not only helps others, it can also provide significant personal benefits, including better physical and mental wellbeing and new skill development. In the past year alone, over 600 volunteers contributed an impressive 90,000 hours at our Centres of Mission, with many more at various projects.
We are incredibly grateful for their selfless service, and thanked them at our annual Volunteer Celebration (click here to skip to the photos!), held this year at the Wilson Carlile Centre on 5 June. Panni Loh, Church Army’s Volunteer Facilitator, tells us about our volunteers and why they are so special.
“Volunteers are very special in the work of CA. It is not just about the time they give but also the skills they bring. They make it possible for CA to reach and practically help so many people. Volunteers often work on the frontline alongside our Evangelists, and their skills are an essential part of the help we can offer people. But there are also people who come to volunteer who have such a willing heart that they learn on the job, so to speak, and we do training with volunteers so they can learn new skills while serving with us. It can be a great way for someone to gain experience that might benefit them in future employment. We do have some staff who started off as volunteers for CA and are now employed by us, so volunteering really is a great way to gain relevant experience.
Most people volunteer because they genuinely want to help. Some have been through various difficulties and want to help people who may be going through something similar – there is often a sense of empathy. Volunteering also comes from a very genuine place of wanting to give, and when they do that, volunteers often have the feel-good factor as a result of having done something worthwhile. Volunteers also develop new relationships with people in and around their community, which is wonderful. It’s astounding to see volunteers who have overcome their own challenges or still experience them but are determined to help. I think that inspires a lot of us to think, “If they can do it, despite their challenges, surely I can do it.” I think that is very encouraging, and it makes our volunteers very special.
“I feel like I am making a real difference to hundreds of women. Volunteering is such a joy and I am so touched to win this award!”
Sophie Dent – Church Army Volunteer of the Year 2023
(continued from above)There is no typical volunteer. We see people coming to volunteer from the age of eighteen right through to late seventies, from all different backgrounds and cultures. The main attribute we look for in a volunteer is that they are willing to serve and are willing to learn. We also ask that they are accepting of our DARE values and are willing to work in harmony with them. We do operate safe recruitment, so people have to be willing to have references and DBS checks done (DBS check if working with children or vulnerable adults). We have just started to advertise vacant volunteer roles on our website, making it easier for people to see what is available and apply online. churcharmy.org/volunteer
If you’re interested in volunteering, don’t hesitate to fill out the Expression of Interest form. There may be more opportunities available than those currently listed on the website. And don’t worry if you’re not tech-savvy – feel free to give us a call or speak with a leader or Evangelist at a nearby project or Centre of Mission. We welcome anyone with a desire to serve and make a difference.“
- Pray that more people would feel inspired to volunteer with Church Army.
- Pray that all volunteers would feel supported and encouraged during their time with us.
- Pray that volunteers will feel strengthened in their existing and developing skills and will feel confident in their abilities.
- Pray that people will appreciate and value all volunteers.
- Pray for each volunteer to feel God’s love as they dedicate their time to us.