Actor, author and television presenter Ross Kemp partnered with Royal Voluntary Service and the Together Coalition charities to honour volunteers at the event held at the Cornhill Centre on Thursday April 28.
Volunteers from other local community groups also attended, including the Banbury Rotary Club, Banbury Community Action Group and Girl Guiding.
Some of the volunteers who attended the event include Saira Begum, founder of PL84U Al-Suffa, the community kitchen, food and clothing bank and Molly Newbury, who cycled from the UK to New Zealand to raise funds and awareness for the charity Choose Love (https://chooselove.org/), a charity providing essentials with dignity to millions of refugees across Europe.
Helen Tunbridge, who is a Royal Voluntary Service Good Neighbours volunteer who provides shopping deliveries and valuable companionship for the vulnerable people that she supports within her community, also attended.
Ross Kemp said: “Every day, in every corner of the country, our volunteers shape our lives. They keep us safe, brighten our communities, entertain the kids, raise money for vital causes, and much more besides.
“In the last two years that work has become ever more visible as we take care of each other in tough times and re-evaluate what’s important. But we’re still not good enough at recognising those who make a difference – that’s what Thank You Day is all about.
“So this Thank You Day, we’re calling on the whole country to come together to say ‘Cheers for Volunteers’ – to take a moment to raise a glass to the extraordinary people who spend their time and energy making our communities nicer places to live.
“Whether you’re at a Big Jubilee Lunch, a concert in the park or a friendly game against the neighbours - wherever you are, whatever you are doing - let’s take the time to thank those who sacrifice so much for the rest of us.
“So don’t forget, this Thank You Day, June 5th, raise a glass and toast the very best of us - let’s say a huge Cheers for Volunteers.”
For more information about Thank You Day see its website here: https://thankyouday.org.uk/
Catherine Johnstone CBE, chief executive of Royal Voluntary Service said: “Thank You Day is the perfect opportunity to raise a glass or mug to volunteers everywhere, who I believe are pillars of our communities. Every day, volunteers are donating their time to making the people around them happier and healthier. They have done so much for us all over the past two years especially. I know that they don’t volunteer for praise or recognition, but I say that’s all the more reason to give them a huge, well-deserved ‘Cheers for Volunteers’.”
For more information about the Royal Voluntary Service see its website here: https://www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/