The Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, was in Devizes today speaking to volunteers at Community First about the impact community organisers have made.
The Minister, who has been the MP for Reading East since 2005, met with staff and volunteers of the charity at its offices on the Hopton Park Trading Estate to talk about their work. He also announced that the government had hit its target of recruiting more than 5,000 volunteer Community Organisers nationally.
He said: “I am really fascinated by the work being done here as most of the community organisers I have seen have been in very urban areas. Social isolation is a problem in rural areas and the Community First organisers and volunteers are doing a great job to combat this.”
The current organisers at the charity have listened to more than 1,100 people and helped residents carry out a range of community led projects from litter picks to setting up meeting groups for lonely older people.
Katrina Watson, senior community organiser said: “It was great to have the minister come today and hear about the work we are doing. It is all about inspiring people to get involved with their own communities.”
The team are currently in the process of training 30 new volunteer organisers, with Community First being one of only 15 organisations to be given a Community Organiser Programme grant. The volunteers, who are part way through their training are being supported and mentored by the charity as they interact with local people and help to implement community projects.
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