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Philanthropy Press - Volunteers' Week

Giving Your Time

At Giving Northern Ireland we focus on the “Three Ts” of philanthropy: Time, Talent and Treasure and in this week’s philanthropy press in honour of Volunteers’ Week we are celebrating those that give of their time.

Events are being held across the country to mark Volunteers' Week 2017, taking place 1-7 June. With the annual campaign seeing charities and voluntary groups getting together to recognise the contribution volunteers make to our communities every day.

Charities across the UK are holding events to thank their volunteers and celebrate the difference they make. According to NCVO more than 21 million people volunteer in the UK at least once a year and volunteering contributes an estimated £22.6bn to the UK economy.

Karl Wilding, director of public policy and volunteering at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, which coordinates Volunteers' Week in England, said:

"Volunteers’ Week is a great opportunity to thank volunteers across the country for the difference that they make in our communities each day. People who volunteer make an invaluable contribution to society, from running sports clubs to protecting the environment and even saving lives."

An example of how your giving can involve your interests comes from Adam Lyne who has used his love for gaming for good.

I’ve always loved playing video games but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I thought about doing it full time for a living. The game I’ve enjoyed the most since I was a kid is Runescape. I started live streaming which is where people watch me playing Runescape, learn how to play, pick up advice or to simply watch as they play alongside. This became quite successful so I decided to consider pursuing it as a full-time career.  My parents were both really supportive and since then everything has just exceeded my expectations.

“I’ve been playing Runescape since I was eight years old and over the past three years I’ve raised a total of £150,000 by playing the game I most enjoy”

I started volunteering for Macmillan in 2014. After discovering how successful my live streams were, I wanted to do the same thing but this time for charity. My grandmother was taken care of by Macmillan before she died and that’s why I’m committed to Macmillan.

I’m now a gaming ambassador for Macmillan. Every year I’ll commit around a month or so of my time towards trying to raise as much money and awareness as possible. Normally, I’ll set myself a challenge on my live stream marathon and my viewers will then decide how much they’d like to donate; they’re all very generous. In a way, you could compare it to setting yourself a running challenge and being sponsored to run a marathon.

“I set myself a goal and, initially, I was entirely surprised by how successful it was”

In July 2014, for my first charity live stream, I set myself a goal of raising £10,000 but I actually raised £19,000. So, of course, I wanted to do it again. In 2015, I raised £53,000 which completely blew my mind and then in 2016 I managed to raise a total of £78,000. I was absolutely thrilled to find out I’d raised over £150,000 over three years. But I’ve learnt that if you can do something you enjoy and do something for charity that makes a difference, that’s what really matters. It’s great being able to look back at what you’ve done and know that it’s changing lives somewhere.

If you want to find out more about volunteering and how you can give your time visit the Volunteer Now website.