Almost 20 million UK adults got involved in some form of volunteering in the last 12 months. The impact that volunteers have on our society is truly incredible.
And in 2020, Rotary is bringing to life Volunteer Expo.
The first event of its kind in the UK, whether you’re already an existing volunteer, or are looking to get involved but don’t know where to start, Volunteer Expo will inspire and invigorate with a programme full of things to learn, see and do.
The event will be taking place from 1st-3rd May 2020 at the NEC in Birmingham.
Tickets are free of charge and are available to order now via the Volunteer Expo website.
Amanda Watkin, General Secretary of Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland, explained the decision to launch the new event.
“We’re thrilled to be bringing Volunteer Expo to life in 2020. We know that volunteering plays a huge part in our society and transforms the lives of millions of people around the country every single year.
“For Rotary this is an exciting progression away from our previous annual conference format into a large-scale Expo, inviting the public and the charity sector to engage with our organisation in a way they’ve never done before.
“For charities and community-interest groups this event provides a fabulous opportunity to recruit volunteers and supporters, share their story and promote the vital work they’re doing and we’d encourage them to visit our website and take a look at our exhibition packages.
“Rotary members are some of the most passionate volunteers around and of course we’re excited to welcome them along too.”
For Rotary this is an exciting progression away from our previous annual conference format into a large-scale public Expo.”
The event will include over 100 fascinating exhibitors, leading speakers sessions, intimate seminar workshops and opportunities take part in interactive on-site volunteering activities.
As part of the event, Rotary has partnered with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), who will join Volunteer Expo as the event’s official Charity Partner.
Both Rotary and NCVO have each been at the heart of promoting voluntary social action for over 100 years and this partnership comes on the back of two significant pieces of research from each organisation this year.
Rotary’s annual State of the Nation report recently found that almost half of Brits admit to feeling lonely, with television, social media and even smart speakers providing ‘superficial’ alternatives to face-to-face interaction.
NCVO’s Time Well Spent report found that 9 in 10 volunteers said they had met new people through volunteering and nearly 8 in 10 said it had improved their mental health and wellbeing.
Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of NCVO, said: “It’s a real honour to be partnering with Rotary Great Britain and Ireland and to be a part of Volunteer Expo.
“Rotary is a tremendous force for good in helping people connect with their communities and empowering them to make a difference. We look forward to supporting the event to further increase the impact volunteering has in our communities.”
It’s a real honour to be partnering with Rotary Great Britain and Ireland and to be a part of Volunteer Expo.”
Volunteer Expo is launching as part of national Volunteers’ Week, run by NCVO each year from 1st-7th June to celebrate the impact made by volunteers.
The NEC, Birmingham offers visitors a state of the art venue in a central location with terrific road, rail and air transport links.
Just a short train ride from central Birmingham and with a whole host of shopping, dining, accommodation and activities on site including Resorts World, the NEC plays host to over six million guests and 500 events every year.
Senior Business Development Manager for the NEC, David Gallagher, said: “From our initial discussions with Rotary, we knew that this was a great concept and one that can really flourish at the NEC.”
“The charitable sector is growing year on year, creating a need for more volunteer support, and personal growth opportunities for those volunteering.”
The NEC is not only one of the best-connected venues in the UK for travel by road, rail (or air), but will provide plentiful space for visitors to walk around and talk to representatives of many charities. We want to ultimately make this experience the simplest and best it can be for all those who are investing time into helping worthy causes.”
From our initial discussions with Rotary, we knew that this was a great concept and one that can really flourish at the NEC.”
The likes of Marie Curie, RSPB and Animal Equality are already confirmed as part of the event’s large exhibition, with many more set to be announced over the coming months.
Amanda Watkin continued, “We’re really keen that what we have on offer at Volunteer Expo is relevant for people in today’s society. That is reflected in the exhibitors we already have on board who are passionately working in areas that really impact our lives, such as supporting the terminally ill and protecting our environment.”
“We’re incredibly excited about what we have planned and hope that people will use Volunteers’ Week as an inspiration to book their free tickets and take the first steps on their next volunteering adventure.”
For more information about Volunteer Expo visit www.volunteerexpo.co.uk