Monday 15 August
Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering. The Salisbury Centre was founded on the selfless gifts of time, energy and commitment, and wouldn’t exist if not for the dedication of the diverse community who come together through a shared love for the centre and give
Our volunteers are custodians of activities, areas and roles including meditation, community suppers and lunches, gardening, events, seasonal celebrations, building and DIY, office admin, the Board of Trustees, and the library including the new seed library.
To share our deepest gratitude and to honour all that you do, we celebrated with a sunny garden party and an evening at the Edinburgh City Chambers for the annual Inspiring Volunteer Awards. You are the beating heart of everything that we do. On behalf of the staff and Trustees, thank you from the bottom of our hearts to yours!
We are thrilled that all three of our nominees for this year’s Inspiring Volunteer awards were honoured by Volunteer Edinburgh, with an elegant evening at the Edinburgh City Chambers on the Royal Mile. Congratulations to you all!
Colin Abdul-Malik Orr (second from left)
As Chair of our Board, Colin has been an essential steady presence for our organisation through a time of turmoil. Colin offers calm, kind, and pragmatic support to the Centre Manager on a regular basis, which is priceless, creating a trusting foundation for frank discussions and joint problem solving. Colin gives deeply of his time and care for our community. Colin empowers the staff team, while offering ongoing support. We are a stronger and more thriving organisation as a result of his compassion, humility, and generosity of spirit.
Vimala John (far right) accepted the award on behalf of the Seed Library team.
The seed library volunteers have been an integral part in setting up our seed library and supporting our community events. They’ve been incredibly committed and have been there every week for the past eight months – gardening, learning to save seeds, researching seed library systems, creating resources, sorting, packing and labelling, and community organising and sharing. Their curiosity, commitment and creativity have fundamentally shaped the project our initial ideas have now grown into. The volunteers are inspiring examples of the great but often overlooked benefits of practicing seed saving to community building, care, resilience and wellbeing. (Also pictured above are Lorraine Prince, Centre Manager, farthest left, and Hannah Brazil, second from right, Seed Library Coordinator.)
Margaret has contributed to a range of work within the Salisbury Centre since 1981. She has consistently supported the Friday midday meditation and shared lunch (always making sure there is someone to cover for her if she cannot attend herself). Margaret is always ready for a chat and to listen; this is so very important for our ‘work’ and really appreciated by both regular attendees and new visitors. Our Community Fridays are one of the keyways new people get involved with the centre for the first time, and Margaret’s offerings on these days, including Xiang Gong, help make the space welcoming, thriving, and inviting.
We gave the Jubilee a run for its money with a sun-drenched evening in the garden, hosted by the staff team.
Hilarious lawn games, music, a fire ceremony with speeches and poetry, and an outdoor buffet of soup, lentil dahl, salads and crumble using fruit frozen from the garden were lovingly prepared and served by the staff themselves, and volunteers were given wild strawberry plants to take home as thank you gifts.
Thank you again to all who joined us on the night, and for those of you who were unable to attend, you were with us in spirit!
The Gift of Giving
“Give out of love, not obligation.
Give when it’s least expected.
Give without strings attached.
Give from your heart.
Give of yourself.
Give to show that you care.
Give help without causing helplessness.
Give something that takes personal sacrifice.
Give to make a difference.
Give without keeping score.
Give for no reason at all.
Give a little if you can’t give a lot.
Give without attracting attention to yourself.
Give without being asked.
Give of your experience.
Give to those who need it most.”
I’ve been spending the last 7/8 years most of the time in solitude, painting, dancing, and working/playing with my dreams….