On Friday, Catherine Bearder MEP, visited Newbury to highlight that 2011 is the European Year of Volunteering and visit two organisations that depend on volunteers.
"It's My Life" are a local self advocacy network who share experiences and support each other. The members learn about their rights and listen to what people with learning disabilities say. The group can then speak up to local services about what is important to the learning disabled community.
After the visit Catherine commented:
"As 2011 is the European Year of Volunteering I want to encourage as many people as possible to volunteer their time to help others.
"Here in Newbury, It's My Life have a fantastic team of committed volunteers who are making a great deal of difference to their local community.
"I think it's fantastic that everything It's My Life do is member led. Members are involved in everything they do and make all the big decisions."
Catherine also visited Newbury's Community Furniture Project, a charity selling good quality re-used furniture and household goods at affordable prices to everyone - with special discount prices to those in need.
As well as helping the environment by saving unnecessary landfill, they also provide a range of volunteering and accredited training opportunities.
"This project is a great example of what volunteers can get out of their work as well as providing a valuable service to the community.
"They offer a wide variety of training opportunities for their volunteers, accredited by the National Open College Network. The quality of this training has been recognised with awards from West Berkshire Education Business Partnership and West Berkshire Learner Achievement Awards."