Exeter’s biggest Volunteer Fayre showcases local opportunities

Local volunteering opportunities will be showcased at Exeter’s biggest volunteer fayre on Thursday, 29 September.

The fayre, which takes place at Exeter Central library between 10.30 – 2.30pm, is being organised by Exeter Connect, a voluntary and community sector support service which provides free advice, training, networks and events to help community groups in Exeter develop and grow.

Over 20 organisations will exhibit at the fayre, including Hospital Radio Exeter, Cygnet Theatre and Marie Curie.

Exeter Connect is part of local charity Exeter Community Initiatives which helps people facing poverty, inequality and homelessness to get their lives back on track by involving them in community projects to improve their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, increase their sense of belonging and provide skills to help them succeed in life.

Johanna Korndorfer, Project Coordinator at Exeter Connect, said: “Volunteers are amazing people who donate their time for free to support their local communities. Exeter has many vibrant charitable organisations looking for volunteers, without whom they simply would not be able to deliver the much-needed services they provide.

“In these challenging times, following the impact of Covid and the cost-of-living crisis, volunteers are needed now more than ever. I know our exhibitors are really looking forward to meeting potential volunteers and chatting to them about what opportunities are on offer.”

Volunteers can choose to give as little or as much time as they can spare. Perhaps delivering groceries to a vulnerable member of the community? Helping to weed a community gardening project? Talking to someone needing a bit of company? Or maybe sharing bookkeeping skills?

Apart from helping other people, volunteering also benefits the volunteer.

A recent report published by the National Lottery Community Fund (NCLF) states volunteering has huge benefits, from improving people’s confidence and self-esteem, to building their resilience and raising aspirations. It can also provide people with a sense of purpose and new friendships, reducing isolation and loneliness.

The NLCF concluded that over three years of supporting community volunteering projects contributed £4 billion to the UK economy.