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Weekend of events highlight importance of volunteers

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King’s Lynn Civic Society is spearheading a call for more people to support local organisations with a ‘Get Involved!’ weekend.A series of events are planned to coincide with National Civic Day next Saturday, June 15 and the society is working with West Norfolk Council to promote community initiatives and the work of volunteers to ensure groups benefit from support from councillors and officers.Civic society chairperson Alison Gifford said: “Think of some of our successful annual events that happen in King’s Lynn and they are mainly organised by volunteers. King’s Lynn Festival, Festival Too, Hanse Festival, Heritage Open Day and the recent waterski racing – all depend on volunteer organisers. But we need new people and new ideas to keep these events, and the groups that plan them, dynamic and creative.

Flashback to last year’s Hanse Parade. Picture: Ian Burt

“But it’s not just about big events. We need more residents involved in all of our clubs and societies, to look after and develop our important spaces, to support the arts, entertainment and sport and to help plan and deliver new facilities and infrastructure.”Last year the civic society hosted a Volunteers Fair at Lynn Town Hall to mark Civic Day.Alison said: “It was quite successful. The groups that attended spread their message and gained some new members. It also led to a reformed Friends of The Walks and the summer opening of the Red Mount Chapel. “Our simple message for the weekend will be Support Your Community, ‘Volunteer Today, Join a new Group’. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, learn new skills and to help make King’s Lynn a successful, inclusive and thriving town.”Events marking the weekend and where people can find out more about existing local groups are:Friday, June 14, Friends of The Walks will hold a Walk in The Walks to look around the park and discuss opportunities for new projects which might be suitable to develop with the borough council. Gary Walker of the Friends group said: “We have recently reformed this group and are looking for new volunteers so that we can plan and develop projects to enhance our nationally important town park.” Anyone interested should meet at 5.30pm at the Café. Saturday, June 15, residents are invited to Harding’s Pits for the official unveiling of the new whale sculpture at the Doorstep Green by Mayor Paul Bland. Rob Archer of Harding’s Pits Community Association, said: “We are thrilled that our volunteers have managed to fundraise and deliver this project, which will be a new landmark for South Lynn and a reminder of some of our maritime history in Lynn. We hope that it will inspire more people to join and support us in our work to develop this important open space in the town.” The official opening is at 3pm.Sunday, June 16, the 10th annual Hanse Day will be held on the waterfront at Lynn and at Hanse House. There will be a massed flag parade starting from the Tuesday Market Place at noon. Dancers, medieval music, a pirate event for children on King’s Staithe Square along with bands performing on the stage. In the Hanse House courtyard there will be children’s crafts and activities where you can make your own coin, construct a magic amulet and learn how to fight pirates. There will also be a display of Hanseatic History from the King’s Lynn archives.The civic society will be present with more information about volunteering and joining local groups. Volunteers at the Minster will provide a café throughout the day. Hanse Day events begin at 11am and continue until 3pm.

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