Celebrating Our Volunteers This Volunteers Week

Celebrating Our Volunteers

It’s Volunteers Week and we’re celebrating our volunteers and everything they do for us here at our education centre Hazard Alley to bring safety education to life!

Volunteers Week Safety Centre

2023 marks the 39th year of Volunteers’ Week  and we’re joining 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’ve been speaking with our volunteers to find out more about why they volunteer with us and why it matters to them. Volunteers at the Safety Centre support our work by helping deliver our safety education tours in Hazard Alley as well as answering the telephone for our 999 emergency practice calls.

Meet Our Volunteer Johnathan

This is Johnathan, he’s our Volunteer Rep and he represents the volunteers here at the Safety Centre. He tells us a bit more about why he volunteers and what it means to him:

Safety Centre Volunteers Week

Tell us a bit about yourself:

My name is Jonathan Needham. I was born in the Midlands, moving to Milton Keynes in 1971. After leaving school I did an apprenticeship as an electrician for five years and then worked on the railway for 30 years in various roles before I retired. My interests outside of volunteering are fishing, playing outdoor bowls, pool and more recently gardening.

What brought you to The Safety Centre?

My youngest daughter sadly died suddenly in June 2014, I had already retired from work but my wife was still working. She wanted me to have something more to do during the day when a work colleague of hers who was already a volunteer at the Centre suggested I come and see if volunteering at the centre would be something I was interested in, especially with my knowledge of railway safety.

I was invited to do a tour and this really helped me decide to give volunteering at The safety Centre a try, the rest as they say is history!

How long have you been volunteering at The Safety Centre?

I started volunteering in November 2014 (eight and a half years now) and soon became the go to person for various DIY jobs with my friend Colin who has recently returned as a Telephone Guide.

What drew you to applying for the Volunteer Representative Role?

I feel I have now gained enough experience as a volunteer to be able to advise/mentor other guides and new volunteers. I am hoping that they feel they can approach me about any issues or concerns they have.
I also feel I can confidently help in promoting the good work The Safety centre does in various ways as required.

Do you feel volunteering at The Safety Centre is a rewarding experience?

I find my volunteering has become a rewarding experience. Each group I take round can have different challenges but seeing the looks on the faces of children as they go round the centre, telling you they have enjoyed one particular thing or the whole tour or that it’s the best trip ever is priceless.

Meet Our Volunteer Coordinator Tracy

Safety Centre Tracy Volunteer Coordinator

Tracy manages our volunteers and ensures they have everything they need to help deliver our lifesaving learning here at our education centre Hazard Alley. She tells us about her role and why the volunteers are so special.

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Tracy and I am the Volunteer & Office Coordinator at The safety Centre (Hazard Alley). When I am not here I can usually be found either singing with my choir or in the stands of a football ground watching my son.

What is your Role?

My main role is to recruit, train and retain the Volunteers here at the safety Centre, but the role is so much more than that. The volunteers here are amazing! I get to spend time talking with them and generally just making sure they are alright. The volunteers love to come in early and sit and have a cuppa and a chat with each other and the camaraderie between them is lovely.

Do you feel volunteering at The Safety Centre is a rewarding experience?

Definitely, I have seen people flourish here at The Safety Centre. The confidence that it gives you and the interaction with the children is extremely rewarding. It also has a very social element to it where you can always find someone to talk to or ask advice from.

Anything else you would like to add?

Hazard Alley Volunteers are amazing last month alone they gave 286 hours of their time to help educate young people on keeping themselves safe. I am extremely fortunate to be able to come in everyday and spend my time with such inspirational and dedicated volunteers.

Find Out More About Volunteering

If you’d like to join our amazing team of volunteers we’d love to hear from you! Find out more here or email volunteerguides@safetycentre.co.uk or call 01908 714351.