Published: 16:14, 01 June 2020
| Updated: 16:22, 01 June 2020
A KM Charity of the Year is applauding its helpers today, at the start of national Volunteers' Week.
Martha Trust is taking advantage of the awareness week to celebrate those who give their time for free to help the Hacklinge charity.
Among them is Andrew Craig who has been volunteering for Martha for over six years after moving from Oxfordshire to retire in Ash and to be nearer to family.
Before this, Andrew was head of sixth form at a large comprehensive school in Abingdon. He found out about Martha Trust through a friend of his stepdaughter Jo and decided to volunteer.
Andrew initially started undertaking administrative tasks by preparing and distributing fliers plus making links with the local schools and volunteering at events on the day.
The first event was the Sandwich Prom, which was held at The Salutation in Sandwich up until 2017 and then went on to become Music on the Farm in the fields of long term Martha supporters Solleys.
Andrew’s wife Sue regularly helps at events too.
"I value being able to support a brilliant fundraising team in their invaluable efforts to support the needs of the very special residents at Martha..."
Over the years, his volunteer role has grown, especially on the admin side and he now deals with press tracking articles, collating and storing, updating the supporter database, stock checks, designing certificates and much more.
Mr Craig said: “Volunteering for Martha Trust, I value highly being able to support a brilliant fundraising team in their invaluable efforts to support the needs of the very special residents at Martha. Since COVID19, it has felt like social distancing from your own family and friends- it is so strange not to have that weekly physical contact and I worry about the overall risks of the workers and residents at Martha.
"I can’t wait to be volunteering again in the office when the time is right”
It is the charity of the year of Kentonline's sister newspaper the East Kent Mercury.
Fundraising and events Officer Kerry Banks BEM said: “Andrew is such an invaluable member of our little fundraising team.
"We can always rely on him to go above and beyond to assist us with anything plus he always brings a big smile in the office – we look forward to Wednesdays with Andrew in.
We miss all of our volunteers so much and would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to you all for your incredible support you give by volunteering for Martha – you are all fabulous!”
Volunteers' Week runs until June 7 every year.
It is a chance to celebrate and say thank you for the contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK.
For more information on the trust and volunteering opportunities, please email Kerry Banks email@example.com or call 01304 610448