This year, we celebrate 100 years of supporting disabled people and volunteers have always been at the heart of everything we do.

In every aspect of Papworth Trust’s work supporting thousands of disabled people, volunteers play a crucial part.

Our core services around housing, work and social care are all supported by people who give their time up for free, and with huge dedication and commitment, to help the Trust fulfil its overarching mission - to help disabled people live more independent lives.

You only have to walk into our centres - from Cambridge to Ipswich, Basildon to Bury St Edmunds – to realise the important and special place volunteers have in each and all of these areas.

During National Volunteers Week, we will be honouring our incredible volunteers across the East of England with special events.

Our volunteers will be presented with awards and thank you’s and deserve this special recognition.

But we recognise their achievements and the special place they have within Papworth Trust every single day.

Each and every volunteer at the charity makes an amazing contribution to our service and we would like to thank them all.

The work they support us with is varied. From helping in our centres to supporting our policy team with research, through to administration and HR and even volunteering their time to help us organise major fundraising events.

Likewise, our volunteers’ reasons for supporting our work differ. We have volunteers who want to say thank you to the charity, who want to get back into work or maybe who are not quite ready for retirement.

That is what makes the Papworth Trust volunteer movement so important and so special.

We are told that our society is currently more divided and more individualistic than at any time in recent history. And yet here at Papworth Trust, we see the opposite.

At Papworth Trust, volunteers know their support and dedication will be enriching the lives of disabled people and their families and carers. They make such a crucial difference.

I leave my last words to a volunteer in our Basildon Centre who perfectly sums up her reasons and inspiration behind supporting our work.

I absolutely love being a volunteer at Papworth Trust. I wasn’t ready to just sit at home.

I have so much admiration for the staff and it is so nice to work in an atmosphere where everyone is pulling together for the benefit of the people we support.

During Volunteers Week, and every single week of every single year, may I pay tribute and say a very big thank you to you all.