20-year volunteer shares experiences to mark special week

Monday, 1 June 2020

A volunteer who has supported a charity for more than two decades is highlighting the benefits of giving up time for a good cause, as part of National Volunteers’ Week.

To mark the week, East Midlands Railway (EMR) employee Clive Yates has shared his experiences of volunteering for Lion Clubs International for the last 30 years.

The charity supports major projects that address diabetes, youth, the environment, hunger relief, childhood cancer and sight issues affecting communities throughout the world. It also has many local branches across the UK, which provide vital funds to local projects, helping to support some of the most vulnerable people in their regions.

Clive, who is a Service Delivery Manager for EMR, has been part of Vale of Belvoir Lions Club since 1998.

“The key thing that surprised me about volunteering, and continues to do so, is that even a little gesture, a little a bit of help, can make a big difference to someone’s life,” said Clive.

“The Vale of Belvoir Lions are a small group but over the years it has been great to be involved with them and contribute to the impact they have had on our local area. During my time with them, we have supported so many deserving projects.

“Recently, we have supported Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People in Loughborough, as well as a Children’s Bereavement Centre. But these are just two of the many local and highly deserving charities that are on our doorstep in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire that do great work.”

Clive said his main volunteering duties were working with other Lion members to organise and hold fundraising events – with the two biggest being their annual Bonfire Night and Santa’s Sleigh event. The Vale of Belvoir Lions has also helped one of its local railway stations at Bottesford by supporting efforts to improve its community rail garden.

Clive said: “The events we put on take a lot of work to organise but are always worth it, especially when you see everyone having such a good time, and of course, the money raised enables us to provide help to deserving causes.

“If you are contemplating becoming a volunteer, don’t, just do it. It will help you develop personally and professionally, but also enables you to meet some great people.”

Become a volunteer

Want to volunteer but don’t know where to start? Volunteers’ Week is a great time to find out more. There are all kinds of volunteering roles out there, contributing to many different causes.

Volunteers’ Week is an ideal time to get chatting to organisations you’re interested in and find out more about their volunteering opportunities – more information can be found on its website https://volunteersweek.org/

Lions Clubs International More information about Lions International can be found here: https://lionsclubs.co/Public/