Volunteering is the back bone of every community and in Helensburgh and Lomond there's a strong band of committed volunteers who spend their spare time to help others. Volunteering doesn't have to be a full time commitment; over 300 local people have joined Argyll Voluntary Action's Timebank which is a very ad-hoc form of volunteering. It could be helping out now and again at a local event or getting a bit of shopping for someone who can't get out. The great thing about being a Timebank member is you can ask for help too. For every hour you spend volunteering you can get an hour of help in return from another timebank member. It might be you need a lift to the airport or a cake for a birthday. One call to AVA and we can try and find someone to help. We also offer traditional volunteering opportunities for those who would like help on a more regular basis. We have close bonds with lots of organisations in Helensburgh and Lomond, many of which could not exist if it wasn't for the help of their volunteers.

Recently we celebrated a Decade of Volunteering at an inspiring event organised by Argyll Voluntary Action, in Oban in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal. People of all ages and walks of life gathered to celebrate the achievements of volunteers throughout Argyll and Bute.

The amazing thing about volunteering is that not only are you making a difference to others but you also feel good about yourself. You can learn new skills, meet new friends or just simply get a buzz from knowing you have helped.

Communities are built on helping each other and working together and we greatly value every volunteer. If you would like to find out more about volunteering please call in to the AVA office in Colquhoun Square.

Alison Gildea Argyll Voluntary Action