Army of volunteers celebrated for charity work to the Blackpool community

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The Salvation Army is celebrating the Blackpool community spirit thanks to the support it receives throughout the year from an army of volunteers. A team of more than 60 volunteers offer their time for free to the church and charity ensuring that the vital services that it offers people across Blackpool and Fylde can continue and the team has been celebrated with a special BBQ.

Praising the hard work and support it receives from the team throughout the year, The Salvation Army, located on Raikes Parade, has seen an increase in the need for helpers recently following the continued struggle in the cost of living with more people from the community seeking help and being pushed into poverty.

In the last year the volunteers have provided support at the on-site homeless drop in, The Bridge Project, the baby and toddler group, Shining Stars, emergency food support, community wardrobe, coffee mornings and much more.

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Captain Naomi Clifton, church leader of The Salvation Army Blackpool said: “Volunteers form a very special part of our church and our programme and we’re so thankful to all of them, the support they provide is fantastic and we simply couldn’t continue to do our work within the community without them.

Captain Naomi Clifton, church leader, with some of the volunteers that support The Salvation ArmyCaptain Naomi Clifton, church leader, with some of the volunteers that support The Salvation Army
Captain Naomi Clifton, church leader, with some of the volunteers that support The Salvation Army

“Volunteering isn’t just about helping out; it is about being an active and integral part of an organisation. Our volunteers bring ideas that inspire and challenge us to be better, making a real difference to everyone and allowing us to support more people in Blackpool and across the Fylde Coast.”

Alan Paterson, 58, was a successful activities co-ordinator for a care home company specialising in older people with dementia and in his younger years travelled Australia with friends. Due to a shift in his life, Alan found himself homeless and first used the services of The Salvation Army when he was living on the streets of Blackpool for a period of time and visiting the church and charity’s homeless drop in, The Bridge Project on Raikes Parade. After receiving support, Alan wanted to give something back and volunteered his services for three years before he applied for a cleaning job with The Salvation Army in Blackpool and got it. He works part time each week and still volunteers today.

Alan said: “The Salvation Army has helped me so much over the years that I wanted to give something back and offering my time to help them with their community work was an easy choice to make. Volunteering gives me a reason to get up in the morning, stability to my life, a routine and most importantly a purpose.

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“Volunteering allows you to meet different people every day and there is so much joy you can get from the work you do, just knowing you’re doing some good and helping out, it really does give you a boost and for me it gave me the tools and confidence I needed to get back on my feet. I am so grateful that my volunteering time allowed me the drive to apply for and get paid work, but I still volunteer, I can’t give it up that easily; it’s too much fun!”

For more information on activities at The Salvation Army in Blackpool visit www.salvationarmy.org.uk/blackpool.