BAVO’s Volunteer Achievement Awards- a wonderful opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of volunteers

It was a great pleasure to attend the Volunteer Achievement Awards a few weeks ago and I would like to thank BAVO for organising this wonderful event in celebration of our volunteers and their achievements. These awards are so important and a great opportunity to say thank you to all those who volunteer, who contribute so much to our society and make such a huge difference to our lives and communities. It was also an honour to present one of the awards.

As the local Assembly Member for Bridgend and as First Minister, I have the opportunity to visit many voluntary organisations. It is good to see at first- hand what work they do in the community and to meet many of the volunteers who deliver these vital services. It is fantastic to see all the great work that goes on not just across Bridgend county borough but the length and breadth of Wales.

Almost 1 in 3 people are involved in some sort of volunteering in Wales. Indeed, there are some 938,000 volunteers in organisations in Wales. We know that our strongest communities have people who want to step forward to get things done and see their communities prosper. Our public services certainly benefit from the added value of volunteers allowing services to be enhanced.

The Welsh Government is committed to building a sustainable relationship with the Voluntary Sector and to identify opportunities for more people to volunteer including working with the WCVA and the third sector on the roll out of a unified volunteer programme, ‘Volunteering Wales’.