LOCAL charities are this week celebrating the work of generous volunteers who make the running of several community organisations and events possible.

During Volunteers Week, which begins tomorrow (Thursday) and runs til June 10, Peeblesshire organisations who rely on the help of volunteers want to recognise the valuable contribution those that offer up their time make to the community.

Shona Haslam, Programme Manager at Peeblesshire Youth Trust, said: “Without our volunteers, it would be impossible to do the work that we do. Our mentors work with around 30 young people every year, supporting them to grow in confidence and achieve their potential. 

"They support, nurture, encourage, and build them up to be the adults that they have the potential to be.

"Everyone can identify someone who has a positive influence on their lives. As we look back at what we have done we can see that one teacher, manager or friend who encouraged us when we felt low. Our mentors support our local young people in that way."

Not only will local volunteers be celebrated, but there will be the chance for organisations to inspire other members of the public to get involved as well.

On Saturday there will be a stall at the farmers market outside Peebles' Eastgate Theatre, profiling many of the organisations throughout Tweeddale that people can take part in.

Dave Hodson from Tweeddale Youth Action agrees that volunteering is worthwhile vocation for both volunteers, and the people they work with.

He said: “Volunteers are an integral part of our youth club and allow us to increase the services and opportunities we offer to young people. 

"Volunteering is a two-way process and we offer full training and support for all our volunteers as well as the opportunity to develop new skills, meet new people and have fun."

As well as speaking to organisations at Saturday's stall, which will be continuing throughout the year with different charities taking a turn on the first Saturday of every month, those interested can contact Volunteer Centre Borders (VCB) who can signpost local charities who are looking for volunteers. 

Gordon Brown, Chief Executive Officer at VCB was keen to highlight the contribution that volunteers make to the Borders. He said: “There are around five million hours of volunteering per year in the Borders, worth an estimated £75 million to local economy - but the true figure is likely to be much higher. 

"Without this army of support many of the everyday services that we take for granted simply could not continue, so I would personally like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who give so much to the community throughout Peeblesshire for the tireless efforts.”