Merton councillors offer community a helping hand

Merton’s councillors took a hands-on approach when they got involved with the UK’s biggest annual volunteering event ‘Make a Difference Day’.

‘Make a Difference Day’ took place on 31 October and this year councillors from across the borough in Merton were keen to show their support for local community groups and to encourage more volunteering in the borough by helping local groups for the day.

The idea of the day, organised by national charity CSV UK, was to promote volunteering and ‘create a wave of kindness’ across the country. In Merton councillors helped with the council’s library home visits service, local charity the Vine Project, and Deen City Farm:

Councillor Henry Nelless, Councillor Maurice Groves and the Mayor of Merton, Councillor Nick Draper, met other volunteers at the home visits library service, based at Mitcham Library, and helped take books out to elderly residents across the borough.

The Mitcham based Vine Project was joined by Councillor Krystal Miller and Councillor Barbara Mansfield who helped with the ongoing furniture project, which takes recycled furniture and other household items and redistributes it to families on low incomes.

Councillor Peter Southgate was also on board and helped out at Deen City Farm.

Councillor Henry Nelless, Merton Council cabinet member for community safety and engagement said:

“My colleagues and I really enjoyed getting involved this weekend. We were very proud to support Make a Difference Day and hoped it encouraged more people to consider volunteering whilst also promoting the many different ways in which you can do so.

“Merton has an excellent community of volunteers around the borough who work tirelessly to help others and whether you can give a little or a lot of your time we hope that looking at the opportunities available in the borough may inspire you to get involved too.”

For more information about volunteering opportunities in Merton, contact Volunteer Centre Merton on 020 8640 7355. Volunteers who dedicate over 100 hours a year helping others can register their hard work on a new web page at and be in with a chance to win a cash prize of up to £250 for themselves and a further £1,000 for the organisation they help out.