Volunteers taking time to help others

Banbury CAB won the Charity of the Year award and were also recognised with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. New volunteers with the cup on the left, Tina Khan and Merisha Hussain with Sharon Graham, operations manager, 2nd right and Maureen Carney, trustee, right, with staff and volunteers. NNL-150206-123929009
Banbury CAB won the Charity of the Year award and were also recognised with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. New volunteers with the cup on the left, Tina Khan and Merisha Hussain with Sharon Graham, operations manager, 2nd right and Maureen Carney, trustee, right, with staff and volunteers. NNL-150206-123929009

The chief executive of Banbury CAB has said volunteers are the ‘lifeblood’ of the charity as it gets ready to celebrate 50 years in the town.

Barbara Shaw has been in the role for four years and has seen it expand its premises in Cornhill and offer more services to those individuals and families in need.

One highlight over the years was undoubtedly hitting a fundraising target of £100,000 in 2012 to extend its premises in Cornhill. The much-needed expansion doubled the existing space and was vital for the charity going forward to deal with the increased demand from those living in the town.

But as its services are used by more and more people, Mrs Shaw added the charity is keen to welcome any new faces wanting to help make a difference to people’s lives

She said: “Banbury CAB was founded in 1965 and has been a visible presence in the centre of Banbury for 50 years.  Volunteers are the lifeblood of the CAB service and currently we have more than 100 involved in the bureau working in diverse roles including advisers, campaigners, drivers and receptionists.

“Each volunteer contributes at least six hours per week of their time to ensure that the people of Banbury can get access to the advice and information they need and can access vital community transport to take them to the hospital or to buy food. Several of our volunteers have been with Banbury CAB for more than ten years. 

“People can start volunteering from 16 and there is no retirement age, you don’t need any qualifications – training is provided for all roles.”

Anyone interested in volunteering can drop in to the CAB office on Cornhill or call 0300 30 30 126 to speak to its volunteering officer.

Alternatively visit www.caox.org.uk for a list of services.