Community Waltham Forest teamed up with Waltham Forest College to organise a Volunteering Fair for students and local residents.

The fair took place at the College on 08 February and was well attended with nearly 200 participating. Students and residents had the opportunity to find out about a wealth of opportunities for them to undertake worthwhile volunteering in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

Approximately 20 charitable and not-for-profit organisations were present, providing volunteering opportunities for participants to help make a difference and give something back to their community. Organisations included Parkinson's UK, British Red Cross, William Morris Gallery & Vestry House Museum, The Women’s Decision Group CIC, Bikeworks CIC, Forest Recycling Project and the Kreative Culture Klub (KCK).

The event was a great success with almost all who attended signing up for volunteering jobs in one or more of the organisations at the fair.

ESOL student, Katherine Jaguaco said, “There was lots of information to get round with many opportunities available. I personally like working with babies so I decided to sign-up to volunteer in Songs & Smiles.”

Kayann Porter, Independent Living Volunteer Coordinator commented on the lively atmosphere and enthusiastic reception from the volunteers.

She said, “It’s been a really great turnout and we managed to generate lots of interest for our organisation. The atmosphere at the College really did help to set the scene.”

Volunteering Development Officer for Community Waltham Forest, Diana Leary said, “There was a fabulous buzz in the room. It was great to see the interactions taking place between the various charities and students attending.

“Talking to the charities involved, the feedback I received was that they really enjoyed the day and the space offered to recruit volunteers; they also really enjoyed networking with each other.”

The College welcomes organisations offering work-based opportunities for learners and to help up-skill workers within the borough.

Director of Services for Students, Amir Ahmed, said “One of our strategic aims is to meet local skills priorities and we will achieve this by helping students to network and find out more about the volunteering opportunities in Waltham Forest. This will lead to students feeling confident and developing the soft skills needed to be work ready.”

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