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Parish Council staff volunteering 4 Jun 2024 New policy encourages staff to volunteer in the local community

Eynsham Parish Council has recently created an employment policy to encourage staff to spend time volunteering with and in the local community.

The staff handbook has been revised to provide staff with two days additional annual leave that can only be used for volunteering with an organisation or charity that supports the Eynsham community, its environment and its people.

As Parish Council staff often don’t live in the village, this new policy is a great way to help them to connect with local people and understand more about the needs and challenges of the community. As Eynsham is a thriving, busy community with so many local activities and organisations, staff are spoilt for choice on where and how to spend their volunteering hours.

The first staff members to spend a day volunteering was our Communications Officer, Sarah Rees. She reached out to Eynsham Museum and Heritage Centre (EMHC), a registered charity run entirely by volunteers and reliant on donations and sales to keep going. She was able to get involved by designing some posters for the upcoming exhibition and spend an afternoon as a volunteer at the museum itself, which is based in the Bartholomew Room.

“I absolutely loved volunteering at the museum,” she said. “So much of my work is done on a computer so it was a real pleasure to be out in the village, chatting with local visitors and other volunteers, and also learning more about Eynsham. It really is such a unique and interesting place – I’m quite envious of everyone who lives in Eynsham! It made me proud to be able to support the community in my small way through communications.”

She was also impressed with Steve Parrinder – the chair of the trustees of EMHC – and all the work that he, the trustees and a team of volunteers, do to keep the history of the area alive and accessible to everyone. “The village is really fortunate to have a museum and such a passionate group of people running it,” she added. “And thank you to all of them for making me so welcome!”

Steve said, “We were delighted that Sarah has become involved; her enthusiasm and communication skills are a great asset. As she says, volunteering to help the museum in some way is pleasurable, instructive and contributes a great deal to the special community that is Eynsham. If you would like to volunteer and/or donate we can be contacted via our website.” (eynshammuseum – Eynsham Museum and Heritage Centre)”

Eynsham Museum has now closed for a few weeks to allow the team to mount a new exhibition – Rural Eynsham – which opens on 13 July and runs until 27 October. Visitors can see the exhibition on Weekends and Bank Holidays from 11am-4pm. Find out more about the Museum on their website: – Eynsham Museum and Heritage Centre



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