Thanking our volunteers

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Charities, community groups and other organisations are holding events this week to thank their volunteers for the contribution they make.

Events will include awards ceremonies, barbecues, roadshows and tea parties.

The annual campaign, established in 1984, seeks to recognise the contribution millions of volunteers make to our communities every week and showcase opportunities available for people to get involved.

This year, for the first time, volunteers are encouraged to share their stories and experiences on social media using the hashtag #ivolunteer, to raise awareness and encourage others to participate.

More than 15million people volunteer in the UK every month. They lend their time and talents to causes as varied as food banks, libraries and hospitals.

The UK Civil Society Almanac, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) data base, shows that between 2012 and 2013, volunteering contributed an estimated £23.9billion to the UK economy, equivalent to 1.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.

Volunteers’ Week is the perfect opportunity to recognise volunteers who give their time, energy and enthusiasm to helping others.

This week of events across the country will show people how much the contribution of volunteers is valued.

Justin Davis Smith,

Executive director of


Listen to villagers

On Monday, South Tyneside Council Planning Committee will decide on whether to approve the building of a block of five, three-storey, five-bedroomed terraced houses with parking spaces for 20 cars at the bottom of Church Lane, Whitburn.

 Contrary to council planning officers’ reports, the increase in traffic will destroy its fragile beauty.

 The proposed 11.5-metre high building has been condemned by English Heritage and other national bodies, opposed by three councillors and the whole village. Although it is well accepted that this site is in need of development, this proposal is inappropriate in its scale, form, setting and design.  

 Contrary to reports produced by a council planning consultant who states that the building will “hardly be seen” from the park or across the cricket pitch, almost the whole of the building will be clearly visible from Cornthwaite Park and from the A183 road.

 Councillors are urged to reject the council officer’s recommendation to approve the development which would destroy the character and appearance of a conservation area in contravention of the National Policy Planning Framework and the Councils own Conservation Area Development Plan (SDP12) for Whitburn.  

 Please listen to the views of hundreds of local people who have expressed disapproval in letters and petition,

Chris Storey,

Red Cottage,

Church Lane, Whitburn.

Red Cottage, Church Lane