Lembit Opik, former senior Lib Dem MP launched The Uckfield Volunteer Centre’s new initiative last Thursday at the Civic Centre.

The launch was very successful, with over 60 local groups and organisations attending.  Speakers included Lembit Opik who spoke from the heart…

‘Volunteering isn’t so much an action as a celebration of what it means to be part of something bigger than yourself.  Every time you help someone in need, listen to someone who’s lonely or do something which doesn’t help you but makes a difference to the life of someone else, you’re volunteering.

Being a volunteer is often not glittering or grand or loaded with gratitude.  It’s a quiet thing, something given without the expectation of praise, though often those we help are more grateful than they can say. It’s said that a person who helps one life helps the world.

This is why, if there’s one thing you do this year for others, I’d invite you to go to the Celebrate Expo on 16th September, at the Civic Centre in Uckfield.  Present your voluntary organisation if you have one, or if you’d like to help make the world a little bit better, come and find an organisation which reaches out to you spiritually, intellectually or emotionally.  Don’t say ‘I could be doing something else that day.’  Of course you could, we all could. But anyone who’s ever appreciated a hand up, however big or small that hand up was, might get a lot out of coming along and offering a hand up to someone else.

My mum is 76 and she gets a huge amount of value and a sense of inclusion from the volunteers who make sure she’s not alone, not counting the hours from dawn till dusk.  For her, volunteers are a life changer.  While you won’t get rich by being a volunteer, the sublime reality is you’ll earn back something far deeper and more enduring than money.  It’s hard to put that in words, but when you feel it, you’ll know, in my view, that feeling’s priceless.  I hope I’ll see you on 16th September.’

Celebrate will culminate on Saturday 16th September with an exciting showcase of volunteering which will include an interactive programme of events where people of all ages can come and participate in different experiences. It will be a free event thanks to the Big Lottery.

Ginny Taylor from the Uckfield Volunteer Centre explained ‘We want to bring together local charities, organisations and volunteers to honour and acknowledge their contributions to our communities. Volunteers are the unsung heroes of our community and should be celebrated!’.


For an information pack, booking form or further details, please contact the Uckfield Volunteer Centre on: 01825 760019 or email: celebrate.uvc@gmail.com