Today is the first day of Volunteers’ Week when the UK celebrates its fantastic voluntary helpers and says thank you to them for all the important contributions that they make. At The Sussex Beacon, Brighton’s leading HIV charity, volunteers are very much at the heart of the charity and its services. Jan Selwyn-Davis is The Sussex Beacon’s Volunteer Coordinator, and has been involved with the charity since 2012. As a trained registered nurse with a substantial medical background, Jan started volunteering as a receptionist at The Sussex Beacon after relocating back to the UK from Spain. Jan felt inspired by her work for the charity, and was promoted to her current role as Volunteer Coordinator two years ago. “I really enjoy meeting people from all walks of life and learning from our volunteers, who have so much to give”, says Jan. Her daily tasks are never the same and vary from week to week, though significant effort is given to the ongoing recruitment and retention of volunteers. Their support is crucial for The Sussex Beacon, where volunteers assist with reception duties, administration, facilities management, meal times, the charity shops, and the Brighton Half Marathon. “We simply couldn’t run the Sussex Beacon without the help of our volunteers, as they help us with so many roles”, Jan adds. The charity hugely appreciates its skilled and diverse support base and welcomes volunteers from all backgrounds, as “everyone has skills that can help us”, says Jan.
The Sussex Beacon is always looking to find new ways to keep its volunteers interested and engaged, and is currently preparing to set up new voluntary roles to assist the changing needs of the charity. These will involve a Volunteer Supervisor, who will be based at The Sussex Beacon’s two charity shops in London Road and St James Street, and a team of Volunteer Ambassadors who will work closely with Brighton and Hove’s community to raise awareness of the charity and assist with local fundraising. This year will be The Sussex Beacon’s fourth participation in Volunteers’ Week, and the charity is looking forward to hosting a special lunch for its dedicated volunteers on 7th June. This celebration will be a wonderful opportunity for the charity to show its gratitude for the ongoing time and commitment provided by its volunteers, and bring a successful end to an important week. If you are interested in becoming a Sussex Beacon volunteer, please contact Jan directly at email@example.com