Volunteering brings rewards for everyone, writes Bill Ulyett, chairman of trustees at The Lounge in Alvechurch.
The Lounge has been serving the community in Alvechurch since 2010 and over that time we have gone through many ups and downs, but we have always enjoyed continuous support from both the local community and Alvechurch Parish Council.
The charity provides the community café, which is well used and loved by residents and visitors alike, with profits supporting our other charitable events for the people of Alvechurch.
We have expanded and changed since the early days, with more emphasis on supporting the young people with the increasing challenges of life in 2020.
When we started in 2010, internet cafés were popular, but today most young people have mobile phones and social media.
These changes bring new challenges for our young people and we have adapted, too. Our focused sessions, twice weekly, regularly attract more than 20 young people, whom we support with the help of both volunteers and qualified staff.
Last year was a big year for The Lounge. With the help of Lottery funding, we were able to start the successful Friendship Matters programme supporting our older members with a regular weekly session to prevent difficulties associated with loneliness and isolation.
Many new friendships have been kindled and the fantastic series of activities on a Monday is drawing in new people every week to try new things and meet new friends.
In 2020 we are planning some great events to build on the success of The Lounge, but we need some more help in the management team, volunteers who will shape and guide the future and ensure that the next ten years will be as successful for The Lounge.
If you have a few hours free in the evening once a month, and would like to join us, we would be more than happy to have a chat. No special skills are needed; just a few hours a month to help grow and support the community and the services we offer.
Becoming a Lounge management volunteer is similar to helping a neighbour in need, with all training provided free. The only qualification required is your desire to help and support your community.
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us via Facebook – or you can drop in to our next session at 8pm on February 17 at The Lounge, in The Square.