A WORCESTER centre is celebrating 25 years of supporting the local community.

The Worcester Volunteer Centre, based on the Tything, has been working with volunteers in the city since 1989.

The centre helps people find out about volunteering opportunities, recruits volunteers for other organisations, provides volunteers to help people living independently in the city and engages in local community projects.

Chief officer Sally Ellison has been working with the centre since 1991 and she says a lot has changed over the years.

"I really love the centre. Working with volunteers is the best — you are surrounded by caring, selfless people who put themselves out there to help and there is always a lovely atmosphere in the office.

"These days there is a greater reliance on volunteers. There are more services run by volunteers where years ago they would have been just the extra people helping out when they were needed. Places like village stores and libraries, which would have once seen paid people employed to run them, are volunteer-run now due to cuts in services.

"We have grown from a small organisation to a centre that has more than 100 volunteers working with it. Over the years we have set up various schemes to help the community, such as Worcester Wheels Community Transport, shopping and gardening services for the elderly and disabled and environmental and youth projects.

"The centre helps a lot of people, including its volunteers. Sometimes it can be hard for people who have no previous work experience to get a job, but volunteering is one way to get great experience and it can be very fun and rewarding at the same time."

As part of the anniversary celebrations a grand draw and an anniversary charity dinner will take place on Saturday at Worcestershire County Cricket Club.

To find out more call 01905 24741, email sally@wvc.org.uk or call into the office at 33 The Tything, Worcester.

For more information about the centre visit www.worcestervolunteercentre.org.uk.