Over the last few weeks I don’t think anyone can fail to be touched by the terrible things and horrific acts that have shocked the UK’s great cities.  To wake only yesterday to hear and see the terrible fire that had torn through the lives and homes of hundreds of people I truly wondered how much more the people of London could take.

The real stories of pain grew throughout the day and the sense off dread for those affected grew, what also grew for me was the sense of pride in the many communities that the tragic Kensington  fire brought together, as a daughter of an ex-fire fighter who was a born and bred Kensington boy, I was proud of our fire fighters, clearly traumatised and exhausted but working on to save as many people as they possibly could.  Proud of all the rescue services, of all the nurses and doctors who cancel leave, turning up to save, support and heal the broken.  Proud of the Communities who opened the doors to their homes, who in the immediate aftermath bought clothes duvets and water for those who escaped the fire.  So very proud of people who stepped up, rolled up their sleeves and began and continue to co-ordinate rescue centres, offering warmth, food, support and the most precious thing of all their time, given with compassion without a second thought.  It is these people that at every horrible event here and around the world that are the rays of sunshine through very dark days.  These volunteers who give their time and themselves, volunteers who will no doubt change lives if only for a short while. 

Volunteers inspire me with their kindness and compassion, be they regularly giving their time at a shop, an animal rescue or a large fundraising event.  Be they the unintentional volunteer who steps up to advocate for or support people in their Community at times of great need.

As a Mum it is the volunteers and emergency services that I highlight to my growing son at times of disaster and terror.  I highlight that as people run away in fear and terror many, many more run towards the danger to save, protect and help.  That for every single act of violence, terror, every single accident there are so very many more acts of genuine kindness and support.  It is these acts committed by amazing Volunteers that make our world a better place one act at a time.

Thank you for being the rays of sunshine in our Community, if you volunteer at a charity shop regularly, whether you are a trustee, a person that commits random acts of kindness or if you have stepped up when the world needed you.  Thank you for helping me show my kids that the world has much kindness and that you do not have to search very hard for Community heroes.

This year's Cornwall Celebrates Volunteering Awards are now open for nominations.  As in previous years, we need YOUR help to nominate those volunteers who go that extra mile and deserve recognition for their efforts. Have you been impressed by the efforts of a particular volunteer? Does the organisation you volunteer for go out of its way to look after its volunteers?  Has somebody inspired you?  Please take a moment to nominate them for an Award, you can find out more by clicking HERE!