On Saturday 20th June families came together in Castlebay to take part in the Volunteer Centre’s Family Volunteering Day. The day featured several fun activities which were suitable for all ages, at the same time the event promoted the benefits of volunteering as a family or with friends.

Volunteering together as a family helps to teach young people empathy, community responsibility and good citizenship. It also helps to strengthen family ties through improved communication and time spent doing good together. Family volunteering also seeks to assist community organisation by encouraging philanthropy.

Six activities were available to take part in on the day. Barra Children’s Centre ran an arts and crafts stall where you were able to decorate your own ‘family giving box’, the coin boxes were then taken home to be used to collect change for donation to any charity. Garadh a Bhagh a Tuath ran a planting stall where you could plant your own pot as a taster session on volunteering with their organisation. Hebridean Living and Croitear Og offered several activities based around increasing local sustainability. Young people were asked to draw a picture of what would make Barra a better island or to make a sea creature for the net display. Material was also recycled and used to sew some Barra Bunting. The kindness stall encouraged you to make a card to show you care or to make a kindness fortune teller. And finally the nature stall featured information from the Bee Conservation Trust and the RSPB which encourages volunteering to preserve local natural habitats.

The day was enjoyed by all who took part, with some great feedback from participants;

 “What a lovely idea and great for a community get together.”    “Great Day!”

“Thank you so much. Great idea giving so much to children and the community”

Several organisers and volunteers worked hard on the day to help make the event so successful. Thank you to Sarah from Hebridean Living, Claire from Croitear Og, Helen from Garadh a Bhagh a Tuath, John James from Barra Children’s Centre and Alison from Barra and Vatersay Community Ltd. Also a big thank you to volunteers Molly, Ross, Tina and Morag.

Hopefully we will be able to run another family volunteering event again in the near future!