The Michael Roberts Charitable Trust celebrates National Volunteer Week 2024 with tribute event for their “amazing” volunteers

Charity / Thu 6th Jun 2024 at 09:19am

STAFF, Trustees and volunteers gathered yesterday for a warm-hearted celebration in recognition of the vital role that their volunteers play in supporting Harlow.

The charity has now given over 25 years of service to the town, whose longest running project, The Maybury Open Door  is now housed in the Harvey Centre, opposite Cineworld, where the celebration was held.

In this past year over 200 volunteers have played a role in the charity. Most are regular weekly volunteers who set aside 3 or 4 hours on fixed days. Others give more. Some are members of local businesses who give a few days a year, and others join for special events.

MRCT now operates five different projects across the town, all designed to make life better for those in crisis, financial hardship or isolation. Working alongside all the town’s other charities MRCT believes in the power of good-hearted neighbours to make life better for everyone. If yesterday’s event was anything to go by, it is working. Attendees learned how:

–             Harlow Foodbank – last year supported nearly 10,000 individuals through food parcels.

–             Volunteers sorted, packed and handed out over 100 tonnes of food (270,000 meals). 

–            The Bounty Club social supermarket in the former BHS with Café at St Paul’s has had over 1,000 members join this year, saving an average of £67 a month. It is driven through the help of over 60 volunteers.


–            A tiny pool of 8 volunteers working alongside Bump to Five last year sorted over 5,000 items of clothes and essential items for children, then packed parcels, each specially made for 923 households with kids age 0-5.

–            Maybury Open Door’s volunteers make a unique home-from-home drop in for 170 adults of mixed abilities on three days a week.

–            Volunteers supporting the Harlow School Uniform Exchange (now open Wednesday’s 10 – 2 at BHS) sorted and sold 6,000 low-cost pre-loved items last year. 

The afternoon ended with a moving tribute to the ‘priceless role’ of volunteers over the last 25 year, from the charity’s Co-Founder Teresa Knott. Presenting certificates for long-service to the charity, she movingly noted how she and Gary could have never foreseen this moment. She and her late husband, Gary Knott are widely respected for their dedication to those who are often overlooked in the town. Teresa reiterated how much those who have come alongside their vision for Harlow have blessed her and blessed the town over the years as the charity has grown to meet its needs.

The accompanying picture shows Paul Welfare, Maybury Open Door volunteer, receiving a certificate from Teresa Knott in gratitude for his 8 years of service to visitors at that drop-in.

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1 Comment for The Michael Roberts Charitable Trust celebrates National Volunteer Week 2024 with tribute event for their “amazing” volunteers:

2024-06-07 10:10:48

Thank you to all the lovely volunteers and Debra at the far right of the picture who has faithfully given up her time and volunteered at the Foodbank for 18 years! I would also like to thank someone who has been with MRCT from the beginning and it was His idea that Gary and Teresa should start the Foodbank , He knew it would be needed and He loves the people of Harlow - King Jesus He came to reconcile us back to God, He came for the sinners, the broken hearted, the downtrodden, He came to save the lost. God shows His love for us in that He sent His Son while we were His enemies. When you give Him your life, He gives you His - eternal life Even if you don't believe you can ask Him to show you He is real and He will All praise and glory to God He loves you people of Harlow

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