Volunteers are given a big thank you for help

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard volunteers celebrate National Volunteers week. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (151072-3172)
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard volunteers celebrate National Volunteers week. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (151072-3172)

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VOLUNTEERS have been given a big thank you for their hard work.

As a part of National Volunteering Week, those who give their time to help out at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard were given a chance to celebrate.

Volunteer co-ordinator Marian Smith said: ‘We wanted to organise something to thank all of the volunteers.

‘Many people don’t realise that so many people who work here are volunteers so we wanted to recognise them.’

More than 400 volunteers were invited to share a cup of tea and some cake to say thank you for their time.

‘This is an amazing place to be,’ said Marian. ‘We have volunteers aged from 18 to 93, men and women but we always need more volunteers.’

The volunteers contribute almost 50,000 hours each year throughout the dockyard’s attractions including The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Boathouse 4 and The Mary Rose Museum.

Betty Trigg, 75, from Anchorage Park has been volunteering at the Mary Rose Museum for two years.

‘I started to volunteer when I was widowed – I was interested in history so I thought this would give me something to do,’ she said.

‘Being able to talk to people from all over the world is very interesting and they want to find out more about the Mary Rose.’

The volunteers at the dockyard described themselves as one big community.

Trevor Jones, 69, from Portchester said: ‘It was very nice to meet other volunteers.

‘We have social events and we get to talk to people from around the world which is fascinating.’

Through volunteering many have learnt skills that they didn’t think they would be capable of.

Susan Dolman, 61, from Southsea has recently taken up a post in Boathouse 4 building and restoring boats.

She said: ‘When I first started I thought “I can’t do that”.

‘For me it is about learning something that I never thought I would be able to do.’

Anyone wanting to volunteer at the dockyard can contact Marian Smith on (023) 9289 3322.