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Redhill’s Strongest Link

“Volunteers aren’t paid – not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless”

I have just discovered a match-making service – not for the romantically inclined, you understand, I am happily married, but one that pairs-up volunteers with eligible voluntary organisations.

As acronyms go, VARB might keep us guessing, but there is no guesswork involved in the work of Voluntary Action Reigate and Banstead. As a broker for the voluntary sector, VARB supports charity, community and faith sector organisations which are in need of extra person-power, while also promoting opportunities for volunteers, and pairing them appropriately. In a nutshell, if you have a skill – even one you are not yet aware of – and, or enthusiasm and some spare time, VARB will find you someone, something or somewhere that needs you, and if your organisation needs some willing hands, they can find the ideal match.

Based in Redhill, VARB is part of the national network of Councils for Voluntary Service. The choices on offer are as varied as the charities they are connected with. Whether your interests are with people, animals or the environment there will be something up your street – or even your field – if you should become an urban shepherd! Opportunities range from supporting the elderly and terminally ill, children’s work in schools, gardening for mental health, conservation work, talking newspapers for the blind, helping vulnerable families – and that’s just a taste! Talking of taste, VARB runs its own Festive Feast on Christmas Day, and they are on the look-out for volunteers and fundraisers for this special event.

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Young Volunteers’ Fair

Visit the Young Volunteers’ Fair for 18-25 year-olds on Wednesday, October 11 between 3.30pm – 5.30pm at St Bede’s School, or on Wednesday, November 8 at Reigate College between 4.30pm – 6.30pm.


The benefits work both ways – volunteers gain as much from the relationship as those they are supporting. They meet new people, make friends, learn new skills, grow in confidence and in certain situations get good exercise! “Far nicer than going to a sweaty gym”, as one volunteer put it. The experience and training gained can also help improve job prospects by supplementing CVs and course work, and the satisfaction that comes from making a positive impact on one’s community is profound.

Because of the particular benefits of volunteering VARB has launched Aspire – a project that actively encourages those facing challenges in their own lives to consider volunteering. Whatever their issues the Aspire Project supports both volunteers and those employing them in ways that ensure that the partnership works well for both. One gentleman who was supported by Aspire declared: “Volunteering saved my life!”

For more information about VARB, call: 01737 762115, visit:, or email:

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