VOLUNTEERS who support North Yorkshire County Council services have spoken of their experiences ahead of the authority launching a strategy to help manage the unpaid helpers.

The council says while volunteers bring great value to services, but also benefit themselves gaining experience, developing skills, improving career prospects, and improving wellbeing.

Aimee Walker, 17, is a Youth Voice volunteer. She said. “Since joining my communication skills have improved massively, allowing me to talk to professionals on their level about a variety of professional topics that they work on.”

Nick Palmerley, 45, who lives near Northallerton, signed up to be a Ready for Anything volunteer in 2018. He said: “One of the reasons that I wanted to get involved is because my parents were very badly flooded in the floods of 2000. I saw first-hand the devastation that causes and the immediate help that people need at the time of the incident.”

Pauline Percival, 61, of Ripon, of North Yorkshire Rotters said: “Sometimes people have come up to me at events and say they spoke to me the year before and that they’ve really changed their waste habits. It’s a lovely feeling, the passing on of that information and knowing you’re making a difference.”