The NEC has been chosen to host Volunteer Expo – the first event of its kind – created and led by Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland.
Kicking off from 1st-3rd May 2020, Volunteer Expo will connect new and existing volunteers with charities and community-interest organisations to encourage greater involvement with volunteering and social action projects.
As one of the world’s leading membership and humanitarian service organisations, Rotary has been at the heart of communities and supporting good causes around the world for over 100 years.
The event will offer the first national show for people to engage with over 100 local, national and global charities and community-interest organisations under one roof.
Organisers are looking forward to welcoming individuals who have volunteered before and are looking to build on their skills and network with peers, as well as those who are keen to get involved in volunteering but aren’t sure where to start.
It will not only host exhibitor stands, but also include keynote speaker sessions, Learning Zones, workshops and seminars so visitors can expand their horizons and leave feeling inspired.
A number of Rotary’s existing events will be incorporated into Volunteer Expo, including their national youth competitions and Champions Awards, which recognises the outstanding volunteering of unsung heroes.
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.”
This announcement follows a new partnership between Rotary and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) who are joining Volunteer Expo as the event’s official Charity Partner.
Both Rotary and NCVO have launched notable research into society and volunteering already in 2019 which highlights a definite opportunity to engage even more people in voluntary social action.
Rotary’s State of the Nation report found that almost half of Brits have reported feeling lonely, while NCVO’s Time Well Spent survey’s key findings included that almost 90% of recent volunteers meet new people through their volunteering.
This is in addition to 3 in 4 volunteers saying that volunteering improved their mental health and wellbeing.
This week also marks Volunteers’ Week (1st – 7th June), and with free of charge tickets to Volunteer Expo now available, it gives people the perfect opportunity to start their volunteering journey, or look forward to finding their next volunteering adventure.
General Secretary of Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland, Amanda Watkin, added: “We are incredibly excited to be bring Volunteer Expo to life at the NEC. Volunteering plays a huge part in our society and transforms the lives of millions of people around the country every single year. The NEC provides the ideal venue with its central location and fantastic facilities.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming individuals looking to find out more about volunteering, as well as exhibitors keen to share their story and promote the positive impact they’re making.”