Volunteering centre in Halesworth celebrates its 30th anniversary

Halesworth volunteer centre celebrates its 30th anniversary.Volunteers and staff outside the centre.

Halesworth volunteer centre celebrates its 30th anniversary.Volunteers and staff outside the centre.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A centre providing essential services in Halesworth is celebrating its 30th year.

Halesworth Volunteer Centre helps the elderly and vulnerable in the town and the Blyth Valley, including a community car service and befriending schemes.

And now thoughts are to the future, with the centre’s new owner looking at how they can expand their offering going forward.

Emma Healey who officially takes over on April 3 said: “The volunteers here do such a great job. The car service takes people out of their homes when otherwise they might be unable to go anywhere.

“They take people to do everything including shopping, hospital trips and also little things such as go to the cinema, and get a haircut.

“The volunteers will also help people with their shopping and the befriending service supports individuals in their own homes, helping them to retain independence.”

Currently the service has around 100 users a month with around 40-50 volunteers.

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Joan Wood, has used the community car service for the past six years since her husband was left unable to drive.

She said: “Without this service I would be sitting at home unable to do anything.

“The drivers they take me out to go shopping and it allows me to have a social life which otherwise I would not be able to enjoy as I would be stuck in my house.”

The centre’s new owner hopes to expand the kind of offering the centre provides within the next five years.

Mrs Healey said: “I am really excited about this opportunity taking on the role as centre manager.

“I think one of the main things I want to do is rebrand the centre so more people are aware of the work that actually goes on.

“It would be good if we could create some new partnerships as well as expand the volunteering service and maybe help people within different groups in the local community, such as children.”

To celebrate their 30th year, the centre held a small anniversary event on Wednesday.

For more information on the centre visit www.halesworthvc.co.uk

Do you have any Halesworth stories? Email kieran.lynch@archant.co.uk