After the successful launch of Skegness’s very own Volunteers Week in March last year, the event will be returning with even more local groups and charities taking part to celebrate the amazing work done by their volunteers. This year the weeks’ events will take place between 16th and 22nd March. 

Skegness Volunteers Week is an opportunity for the many charities, clubs and community groups in Skegness to thank all their volunteers.  The week is a Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service (LCVS) initiative delivered with support from Lincolnshire County Council, Skegness Town Council, Lincolnshire Coastal Destination BID and local charities including Skegness Rotary Club 

Just like last year, all organisations, large and small, are being invited to get involved by recognising the work of their volunteers and encouraging others to get involved. Last year the 37 organisations who took part, collectively thanked their volunteers for over 137,000 hours of time donated, all counted up on our Skegness ‘Volometer’.

Kathryn Laverack of Lincolnshire CVS said, “We are really looking forward to repeating Skegness Volunteers week this year and with the response we have received to date, we are sure that our Volometer will be clocking up many more hours of thank yous this year”

“The voluntary sector has a major impact not just on the lives of the people of Skegness but also its heritage and environment – its, beaches, venues, retail offer and attractions. All these sectors are represented in the participants of Skegness Volunteers’ Week from Alzheimers Society, Marie Curie and Skegness Cycling Without Age to Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, Lincoln and Lindsey Blind Society and many of our high street charity shops.  We will also be celebrating the many hours that go in behind the scenes through input into clubs, committees, trustee boards and PTA’s for example. All these hours make a real difference to our local community and we want to recognise this”.

The Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway are just one of the organisations who are joining in the celebrations. 

John Chappell, Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway explains, “Lincolnshire Light Coast Railway was the very first heritage railway in the whole world to be built by enthusiasts on a greenfield site, when it opened on its original site near Cleethorpes in August 1960. It relocated to the Skegness Water Leisure Park and reopened there in 2009 and its volunteers operate and maintain their historic trains. If ever you wanted to be a train driver, a guard, a track worker or to restore historic locomotives and carriages, then this is your opportunity to volunteer to do that, by joining the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway Historic Vehicles Trust (a registered charity). Full training is given. Volunteers operating the railway must be aged 18 or over” 

Call for volunteer knitters!

The celebrations would not have been complete last year without the help of all those who knitted the hundreds of thank you volunteers for the knitted bunting displayed in the Hildreds Centre.  This year the Skegness Volunteers’ Week committee are asking Skegness knitters to use up their spare wool to knit more #SkegVolunteers. These will again be on display at the Hildreds Centre but will also be given to all the charities who are participating.  

The Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway is also asking people to knit ‘thank you’ volunteers and would also like to include trains in their knitted bunting too. The knitting pattern has been inspired by the Jurassic engine, a narrow gauge steam locomotive built in Bristol in 1903 to pull trucks of limestone at the cement works of Kaye and Company in Southam, Warwickshire. She has six coupled wheels, a very tall chimney, a large cab and beautifully proportioned saddle tank, boiler and smokebox. She takes her name from the geological period in which the rocks quarried at Southam were formed. In 1956, she was taken out of use and sold to the LCLR in 1961, running there until the original site closed in 1985. In Skegness, she has been restored to working order with the aid of a Lottery Heritage grant and the railway’s volunteers, and now delights visitors to this historic railway on summer operating days. In 2019 her restoration was short-listed for a major award by the Heritage Railway Association. 

John Chappell says, “She is the perfect example of what a team of dedicated volunteers can achieve, and we are looking forward to seeing all the knitted miniatures. What a superb way to say thank you to all the volunteers involved in getting her back into working order.”.

You can pick up a knitting or crochet pattern from the Hildred’s shopping centre or, follow the link on the Skegness Volunteers Week Facebook page to download your pattern choices. 

To find out more about Skegness Volunteers’ Week and the participating organisations, visit the website http://skegnessvolunteers.uk/  or the Facebook page @SkegVolunteers or contact kathrynlaverack@lincolnshirecvs.org.uk