SOMERSET people are being encouraged to think about volunteering and to make helping a good cause their 2024 New Year resolution.

The new unitary Somerset Council said it could offer residents a wide range of ways to become involved.

Somerset executive Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts said volunteering was a great way to give back to the local community or support a meaningful cause.

Cllr Smith-Roberts said the authority had about 1,600 volunteers who found that giving up their time to help others was a way to meet new people, gain new skills, and expand their horizons.

Volunteers can support children and young people with the school appeals panel, Route1, and the Youth Justice Team, get outdoors with the rights of way, National Landscapes, and countryside teams, support the management of Somerset’s harbours, or take people to and from appointments. 

Cllr Smith-Roberts said: “Volunteers are the beating heart of Somerset, they really do keep our communities alive and thriving.

“We all owe so much to the many hours of unpaid service they contribute.

“Somerset would be a poorer place without volunteers.

“I hope people join us in thanking them and consider ways that they could volunteer themselves and become part of our band of unsung heroes.

“There is something for everybody when it comes to volunteering, so come and continue the spirit of gifting at Christmas and the promise of new experiences and starts with the New Year by getting involved today.”

Information about volunteering roles with Somerset Council is available here.

There are also many other organisations across Somerset looking for support, details of which can be found here.

One such opportunity coming up shortly is a day with the National Trust ranger team at Fyne Court, on the Quantock Hills, planting native small hedgerow saplings such as hawthorn, blackthorn, spindle, and dogwood.

The woodland restoration work on January 14 will be based in Five Ponds Wood following the ash dieback work on the banks of the river.

Spaces should be booked via the website here.