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National Volunteers' Week



Volunteers’ Week is a time to say thank you for the fantastic contribution volunteers make.

During the week, hundreds of events and celebrations take place across the country, saying thank you to volunteers and recognising their invaluable and diverse contribution to the UK.



As well as helping others, volunteering has been shown to improve volunteers' wellbeing too.


It’s human nature to feel good after helping someone out. Volunteering can also help you gain valuable new skills and experiences, and boost your confidence.


"The estimated annual value of volunteers is £22.6 bn"


  • In 2017/18, 20.1 million (38%) people in the UK volunteered formally at least once a year and 11.8 million (22%) of people did so at least once a month.


  • ‘Wanting to do good’ is the most common motivation to volunteer. In 2017/18, 46% of people said that they volunteer to improve things and help others.


  • In 2015/16, there were around 166,000 voluntary organisations in the UK, most of which rely on volunteers.


  • In 2015, volunteering was worth more than £22.6bn to the UK economy. This is equivalent to about 1.2% of GDP.


  • 67% of volunteers give their time to charities and community groups, but many others also volunteer in the public and private sectors.



Meet Guildford's Friday Swimmers who have been announced as one of the organisations to receive the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.


The group was founded over 50 years ago to support post operative patients in recuperation and rehabilitation in a safe pool environment.

It also provides support to people with lifelong physical impairments regardless of age or ability to help improve their quality of life.

The registered charity runs its sessions at Guildford Spectrum every Friday and and is held up by its dedicated and experienced pool of volunteers.

But one volunteer stands out in particular - Pam Morphew. 

Pam co-founded the organisation back in the 1960s and continues to attend Friday Swimmers every week at the age of 91.

In February she was awarded an Eagle Radio Breakfast Hero Award:

Tony Gorham, who is Chairman of Sport Guildford, has known Pam for nearly 40 years. 

"She's proactive and always has been" he told Eagle.

"Pam is not only caring, she's also a very able and skilful woman and able to command that respect from so many volunteers for so long!

"Everybody loves Pam because she's just so popular with people and it shows something about the person who's not only sustained her own enthusiasm, but to instill enthusiasm in others to work with her in her passion."


tony gorham

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

To be nominated they have to have been running for 3 years or more and should do work that:

  • provides a service and meets a need for people living in the local community
  • is supported, recognised and respected by the local community and the people who benefit from it
  • is run locally

"It's for Friday Swimmers, it's for Guildford Spectrum, it's for Guildford Borough, it's for all those people who have been associated with helping people develop their lifestyles over these years" Tony added.

"It is a wonderful thing to be recognised for what you do. It doesn't matter whether you volunteer on a Friday, whether you are part of the whole committee group, whether you've been volunteering for 50 years or what, it is just a very special day.

"Pam is just so proud of what others have done, but she's the one that has pulled a lot of us together so we're very grateful to Pam."

Representatives from Friday Swimmers attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May, alongside other recipients of this year's award.

The organisation will receive the award from Michael More-Molyneux, Lord Lieutenant of Surrey later this summer.

You can listen to the full interview with Tony below:

Let's Talk: Guildford Friday Swimmers Receive a Queen's Award for Voluntary Service!

Guildford's Friday Swimmers has today been announced as one of the organisations to receive the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.