Gary Rycroft column

Gary Rycroft.
Gary Rycroft.

I’ve written before about how blessed we are locally in respect of the local charities that improve and enrich our community.

Something they all have in common is that they rely on volunteers.

At CancerCare volunteer drivers take clients to therapy sessions, The Dukes and Grand Theatre have a dedicated team unpaid ushers who sell programmes and ice creams and none of the local Scout and Guide Leaders get any reward apart from long service badges.

Such altruism is to be celebrated.

However, being a volunteer myself I have to be honest and say that very few volunteers do it for reasons that are 100 per cent altruistic.

Most people do it because they also get something out of it themselves.

And there is nothing wrong with that.

Volunteering should be enjoyable and also improve the life of the volunteer, as well as benefit the charity concerned.

Indeed there is increasing evidence that volunteers benefit significantly from their good turns.

According to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, on average volunteers live longer, have improved health, meet more people and have better family relationships than non-volunteers.

What’s not to like about that?

Another way to help charities is by leaving legacy in your Will.

Next week is Remember a Charity Week 2014, an annual event designed to highlight how much charities rely on income from gifts in Wills and to encourage more of us to make such gifts.

I suppose leaving a charitable gift in your Will is a way of still volunteering post death.

My own take on Remember a Charity Week is that we should make it Remember a LOCAL Charity and in that regard, as I say, we are spoilt for choice.

So if you aren’t volunteering yet, join up because otherwise you are missing out on all the fun and benefits, and if you are already, even though the statistics say you won’t need a Will as soon as non- volunteers, why not think about carrying on your good work after you have done your last shift, by leaving a gift in your Will to your favoured charity?