1-7 June 2015 was Volunteers Week.

Our Network event on the 2nd June started with hands-on volunteering at Swan Bank Church and Root n Fruitallotment in Middleport.

After lunch we showed our new 1000 Lives film for the first time. We had presentations from Louise Webster at the University Hospitals of the North Midlands and Lisa-Ann Leese from Stoke on Trent Children’s Centres.

Everyone spent some time thinking about their own “gifts” – their passions, skills, knowledge and connections. Then we shared our resources on the Got It Want It wall.

We had a really wonderful time celebrating the contribution to our communities’ health and wellbeing made by volunteers in the evening. Nominations came in for over 30 individuals or groups aged between 12 and 80 to be recognised and thanked for their efforts as community champions.

One of the volunteers who we valued was Darren Murinas from Voices of Stoke. He has been nominated as a Guardian Volunteer of the Year and is now one of the five people shortlisted. You can vote for him here.

Barry Pitts from Staffordshire Housing presented the Certificates. He is the Chair of the new Community Action Partnership for the city and is leading the work to develop support for volunteers across Stoke on Trent.

It was a  really special day. Many thanks to Root n Fruit for welcoming people to their food growing project. We are very grateful to Swan Bank for hosting us. We had lots of donations to the Food Bank, in exchange for use of the room.

Thanks to everyone who came for being #StokeCommunityMakers !