Not only does June mark the official start of summer and (hopefully) much sunnier weather, it also kicks off with an important event: Volunteers' Week.

Like many charities across the country, we at Rural Action Derbyshire couldn't do what we do without the wonderful people who contribute their expertise and enthusiasm to supporting our work. So, we’d like to use this annual event to say a big thank you to every single one of them - and to encourage you, if you have some spare time and want to help a great cause, to get involved too.

Volunteers help RAD from the very top, making up our board of trustees - who use their experience and understanding of rural issues to offer advice on everything from accounts and finances to mental health and well-being. They help to guide the vision, aims, and strategy of the charity, and many end up becoming part of the furniture, getting involved for years at a time.

We’re also lucky to have volunteers who help out in person through our various vital services. So, if that’s more your thing, we have plenty of more hands-on opportunities too.

If you have an understanding of technology and the internet, for example, you could join our team of friendly Digital Champions, who offer informal training and guidance to those who are most likely to be missing out on the benefits of the virtual world - helping to close Derbyshire’s ‘digital divide’.

If you’re passionate about preventing rural domestic abuse, you could become one of our Willow Project Champions, who aim to challenge attitudes within local communities that perpetuate abuse in any form.

Or if you’re concerned about the increasing number of people who are forced to rely on food support because of the cost-of-living crisis, you can help to make a difference by getting involved in our Feeding Derbyshire service, which helps to distribute affordable, nutritious meals across the county through community pantries and food projects.

Dozens of dedicated volunteers across Derbyshire are already helping to improve lives in countryside communities, and we’re very thankful for their generous support.

This Volunteers’ Week, we’d like to toast them and to celebrate their fantastic work.

And if you’re yet to get involved, but are interested in any area of our work and have some free time, skills and enthusiasm, please get in touch through our website or by calling 01629 592970.