This week is National Volunteer week, which recognises the huge contribution that volunteers make within our communities.
MLA Claire Sugden says she sees first hand the positive effects of volunteering within her East Londonderry constituency.
“Volunteers are often the unsung heroes of society, and I have met with numerous individuals and groups who freely give their time for the betterment of others.
“These are the people who keep the world turning and who plug the gaps in the system where Government provision may not reach.
“Since I became an MLA, I have continued to question the Northern Ireland Executive about their support for volunteers, through a robust strategy which recognises their contribution, and the funding which they are investing in this area.
“Recently the Minister for Social Development told me that an evaluation of the Volunteer Strategy for Northern Ireland is underway and is to be published in early summer time. This will show how effective the strategy has been in meeting its targets, and outline where progress is needed so that volunteering flourishes and its impacts are maximised.
“Volunteering is particularly strong in my constituency, and I am aware of the positive impacts it continues to have on people from all ages and backgrounds. It creates social bonds and develops a close community spirit. This week I encourage us all to take time to show our support for the work which volunteers do.”