Our Man - Celebrating charities and volunteering in Ashford

Most of the time this column is useful to address the problems and complaints people have. There is never a shortage of subjects! Occasionally though I like to use it to remind us all of the quiet good work that goes on around our local community every day.

I am inspired to do just that by a visit to the Ashford Volunteer Centre at Berwick House. A large number of organisations are based there, helping people of all ages and with a wide range of needs. Even on a short visit I met Guide Leaders, a cancer support group, and Men in Sheds, who help men to avoid loneliness by using their practical skills in good causes.

The new service based at the Volunteer Centre which I want to promote is timebanking. This allows anyone to share their time, talent and skills not in return for money but in return for an hour of help that you might need yourself. If you need nothing, you can donate the time you have earned to the Community Pot, so that others can benefit.

This means that if you can fix a bike, help with gardening, teach music or do some baking there will be someone who needs your services. If you think you have no useful skills, think again. One of the needs posted at the Centre was for a voluntary group who wanted someone to make a Spotify playlist for their meetings. Even I could do that.

If you are interested email timebank@ashfordvc.org.uk. Every time I visit the Volunteer Centre, I am enthused by the number of people who want to help their neighbours and the wider community, and am equally determined that they should get some credit for it. The fact that no one involved does it to receive that credit makes the volunteers all the more admirable.