“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field”.    Matthew 9:37-38

When I moved to Cumbria I was asked by a mum in the parent and baby group “Why are you a volunteer?”.   A question I’d never been asked.  “Can you not get a job?”  “Do you have an ulterior motive?”  “So you work for free?”

Families who juggled the need to work full time and the shortage of hours in a week perceived volunteering as an indulgent luxury, while others appreciated the role but it was a little mystical, like those masterpieces in a museum that spark imagination but are clearly from another time.   It seems I was out of date!

Around the same time the government officially recognised that faith groups, well stocked with willing volunteers, had a vital role to play in the wellbeing of the country and that faith was the ‘why’ of those volunteers in their communities.  Well, this volunteer had figured that out too.

It was following the unforgettable floods of November 2009 across Cumbria that church volunteers in droves worked together with all agencies, neighbours and communities to literally rebuild their villages, towns and cities.

Friendships continue to this day formed from the driftwood of disaster when volunteers offered that most precious thing -time,  to help their neighbour in need.

Currently there are thousands of neighbours in need attending our schools.   Children longing for a grandparent’s listening ear or a game of dominoes while they chat.   Young people without friends, misunderstood, displaced, unseen.  Over-stretched staff hungry for a glimpse of light.

They are our “Why?”

Not all harvesters will be volunteers but it’s certain that without them this harvest CANNOT be brought in.

Helen Faulds

From all of us at NISCU … Thank you Helen for all your volunteering, and for all you do.