Katie Cavanna: it is the most simple of gestures that make the most significant of differences

Team RE4orm volunteers Liam Bennelick and Holly Godsland

Team RE4orm volunteers Liam Bennelick and Holly Godsland - Credit: Archant

During a week that has highlighted significant global turbulence, trauma and tension, there has never been a time where coming together, united, has been so important.

Volunteers' Week is celebrated between June 1 and 7 every year. It is a week in which the UK celebrates volunteers and says thank you to them for the contribution that they make.

The week also raises awareness about the benefits becoming a volunteer and the diverse volunteering roles that are available.

When you look at the reasons why volunteering is important, it's not only about the impacts we can make in the lives of those less fortunate but the role it can play in making us more tolerant individuals and giving towards the global community.

Each of us should be willing to offer our own time and expect nothing in return. But the truth is that volunteering will bring a world of rewards you might never have expected.

I was brought up with an innate sense within me, that I could make the world a better place. It would be naïve of me to think that I could change the world entirely but you can change so many people's 'worlds', and ultimately, that's what really matters.

Every evening, sat at the dinner table, I would be told stories from periods of history, that ignited a spark inside, where I knew I had a purpose.

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I owe so much to my parents, who taught me that everyone has the power within them to change the world.

Working for the last 15 years with communities experiencing injustice and hardship, fighting for communities' voices to be heard, I am well aware that we must not rest on our laurels.

As a community – locally, nationally and globally - we still have much more to do.

On a local level, we are well aware that there are more than 6,000 children living in poverty in Torbay alone. In 2020, in one of the world's richest countries, that is simply unacceptable.

RE4orm was created to bring the community together. United by a simple purpose; to raise aspirations and alleviate poverty for our community.

Although RE4orm is a new community interest company, its impact on many lives in Torbay, has been simply remarkable.

Over the last ten weeks, Team RE4orm, made up of volunteers and local businesses, has delivered over 9,000 nutritious meals and 9,000 food parcels to families across Torbay.

These figures are phenomenal and reflect the tenacity, dedication and commitment of so many in our wonderful community.

Excitingly, a collective of local restaurants have pledged to continue supporting RE4orm for the next five months.

This will make a tremendous difference to so many.

Special thanks to these businesses for their naturally inspiring community spirit:

• Cary Arms

• Shoreline

• Me and Mrs Jones

• Below Decks

• Yum Sing

• Roots Greengrocers

• My Kitchen.

As we embark on the next stage of our Food 4 Torbay project and mobile community hub renovation, I am calling on members of our community to help.

Do you have a spare couple of hours each week? Would you like to join Team RE4orm? You have the power within you to make a significant difference to so many.

Volunteering has always been one of the cornerstones of communities in the UK. Volunteers are the beating heart of our communities. As well as helping others, volunteering has been shown to improve volunteers' wellbeing too.

It's human nature to feel good after helping someone out. Volunteering can also help you gain valuable new skills and experience and boost your confidence.

If you would like to join Team RE4orm, please send me an email at katie@re4orm.uk