THIS month National Volunteers Week was celebrated and I would like to thank the tens of thousands of volunteers across the north west who each year selflessly give their time to worthy local causes.

I work for the charity Vitalise, which runs the Sandpipers respite break centre in Southport. We provide much-needed respite breaks for people with disabilities and carers from across the region.

We simply couldn’t do what we do without the dedication of our wonderful volunteers who help us to make a difference to the lives of our guests.

To mark Volunteers Week we did a survey and found that volunteering can offer massive personal benefits and even transform lives.

Regardless of their background volunteers are sharing in a truly unique, transformative experience.

Stephanie Stone Vitalise