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Volunteer Centre West Berkshire celebrates its move to Broadway House in Newbury



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Cake was enjoyed in the new offices of the Volunteer Centre West Berkshire on Thursday as local mayors and MP Laura Farris joined volunteers for their celebrations.

High Sheriff of Berkshire Willie Hartley Russell thanked the “amazing” volunteers for the work that they do as he stood before the guests at the official opening.

He said: “It is amazing, the work you are doing. Amazing people, amazing volunteer groups.

Opening of the Volunteer centre West Berkshire new offices.
Opening of the Volunteer centre West Berkshire new offices.

“It brings local people to local needs, so please don’t stop.”

The charity celebrated the from its old and much smaller building in Bolton Place, off Northbrook Street, to the new open plan offices at Broadway House.

Director Garry Poulson celebrated the move and said that the new open plan offices will allow the volunteers to “better support the community”.

Opening of the Volunteer centre West Berkshire new offices.
Opening of the Volunteer centre West Berkshire new offices.

He also said that it will help them to better “provide information, advice, and good services for people”.

The charity, first established in 1974, invited members of the community to hear speeches, cut cake, and learn more about the organisation.

It was a chance for volunteers to together to discuss matters of community togetherness and perseverance as well as what they have learnt since the pandemic increased the need for volunteer work.

Newbury MP Laura Farris was in attendance and said: “It’s lovely to see the volunteer centre in its new home.

Willie Hartley Russell the High Sheriff of Berkshire cuts the cake. Ref: 42-0421. (52265655)
Willie Hartley Russell the High Sheriff of Berkshire cuts the cake. Ref: 42-0421. (52265655)

“In the last 18 months, we have realised the importance of volunteer work and its value in the community.

“These volunteers were an important part of that.”

She added: “It’s really nice, to see them here, embedded with many other services, with time to talk and so much more space to work.”

Speeches were given and cake was cut to celebrate the new offices opening officially.
Speeches were given and cake was cut to celebrate the new offices opening officially.

The past two years have been a testament to the importance of volunteer work and the efforts of the volunteer centre was recognised among the local community.

West Berkshire Council chairman Clive Hooker said the event was “excellent” and that he hopes that the move will give the volunteers a “drive”.

He said: “I am so pleased for them, they do a wonderful job.”

Mr Hooker also praised Newbury’s charities and volunteers as a whole for all of the work that they do for older and disabled people.

Newbury mayor Billy Drummond said: “It was a great event and they do a wonderful job.

“It is a sad world without volunteers.

“The people of Newbury have got a big heart.”

Volunteer centre chair of trustees Brien Beharrell said: “We would not be here if we didn’t have people willing to give up their time.

“People need the support, so it is very important, given that the need is there.

“It shows no sign of diminishing.”

Thatcham mayor John Boyd also highlighted the importance of volunteers with people delivering prescriptions and offering to do shopping for others during lockdown.

He said: “There was a loss of services and these things don’t operate without volunteers.

“It is important, something like this, if we raise awareness of the volunteer services, people can come together.

“They just come out. Always fantastic that they have the volunteers to help the community in the way that they do.”



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