Volunteers are an essential part of the rural support team and without them it would not be possible for the organization to offer the diverse range of support and programs for agricultural and rural communities that they provide.
Each year, these volunteers dedicate over 2,000 hours participating in a range of activities that include support through various programs, support line coverage, emotional support and awareness raising.
Ellen Woods, a Rural Support volunteer, commented: “Rural Support has many wonderful projects that are making a difference to so many people and that’s why I really appreciate my time with them.
“I’ve met new people, been to new places and done new things, hoping to bring a smile to someone’s day along the way.”
Rural Support is always looking for volunteers who love Ellen, who are enthusiastic and able to help with all of their projects.
They offer a wide range of support and through the excellent work of their volunteers they are able to help and support many farmers and farming families across Northern Ireland, ‘accompanying’ service users as they seek to improve their situation, whatever it may be – and that is individual to each user of the service.
Veronica Morris, Managing Director, said: “Our volunteers have been at the heart of our service delivery since Rural Support was established in 2002. We thank them for always going above and beyond to support the farming community in Northern Ireland from so many ways. and would encourage anyone interested in truly making a difference to get in touch.
Rural Support is currently recruiting new volunteers to join the team. By becoming a volunteer, you could help in several areas:
Plow On Group Volunteer: Help support groups of older men who meet in various local areas through the Plow On program.
Across The Hedgerow Volunteer: Offer listening support and companionship via a regular phone call to someone alone or isolated.
Helpline Volunteer: Helps provide confidential listening support to people who contact the helpline.
Outreach volunteer: helps with outreach activities by setting up at fairs, supporting the distribution of leaflets or informing people about rural support.
Research has shown that giving even a little time to others is associated with increased well-being. It enables connection with others and develops a sense of purpose. Volunteers who are part of the Rural Support Team are fully trained and continuously supported in their role as a dedicated staff member.
If you would like to find out more, please contact Deborah Gavin, Human Resources and Volunteers Coordinator, on 028 8676 0040 or [email protected]
You can also download a volunteer registration form from the NI Farm Support Hub www.ruralsupport.org.uk/support-our-work/volunteering-with-rural-support/