NEW measures to boost volunteering in the borough have been announced.

Bury Council and its partners have set up the Voluntary Community and Faith Alliance to strengthen the volunteering community.

The announcement follows National Volunteering Week which took place from June 1 to 7.

Julie Gonda, interim executive director of communities and wellbeing at Bury Council, said: “Research shows that an incredible 70,000 people in Bury take part in volunteering, devoting a total of 65,000 hours a week to supporting local people and communities.

“There are many benefits to volunteering, from increased self-confidence and happiness, learning new skills and teamwork, even health benefits. What’s more, it’s fun, fulfilling and provides opportunities to share hobbies and interests; and it could also help your employment or career prospects.”

Councillor Tamoor Tariq, cabinet member for communities, added: “Bury is fortunate to have volunteers who give up endless hours and days to make a difference to other people’s lives as well as changing their local community.

“Personally I have always been passionate about volunteering, and do all I can to volunteer my time to good causes. Just last week I was in Manchester helping to feed the homeless.

“The voluntary community and faith sector are working to build strong capacity for volunteering efforts across the borough, and I look forward to supporting them in their endeavours.

“I would like to thank volunteers across our borough for all that they do; they are greatly valued by everyone, and together we can all ensure we are change-makers in our community through volunteering.

“Volunteers are our silent community heroes, and Bury is stronger for having them. Volunteering shows all that is best about our society."

The VCFA will officially launch at the Fusilier Museum on July 5. To become a volunteer, attend the launch or for more information email by June14.