VOLUNTEERS are a silent workforce.

Without them many organisations would struggle to survive, or even exist. Their unpaid support keeps many charities ticking over.

It was during the 1960s that the founders of Voluntary Services Overseas, Mora and Alec Dickson, set up CSV (Community Service Volunteers).

The organisation has since changed its name to Volunteering Matters and is now said to be the largest volunteering charity in the UK.

Standing outside Auburn House in Upper Piccadilly, Bradford, Joanne Crowther and Simone Stammbach recently turned the clock back 30 years and their image captured on camera is a lasting reminder of when the pals first met through the volunteering organisation which brought them, and many more young people both from Bradford and abroad, together.

Joanne, from Nab Wood, recalls working as a volunteer support worker for CSV before the name change and when it was based in Auburn House.

"I was a volunteer support worker for the whole of Yorkshire in 1987," says Joanne.

She explains the organisation was aimed at the 16s to over 30s who came to the city from their home countries - often from across the seas - to provide help and support to organisations such as nursing homes and providing care to students with disabilities who were studying at university.

Joanne recalls they also provided support to an elderly polish lady who had been a prisoner of war during the second world war.

They were, as Joanne recalled, roles which the young volunteers relished and, in many cases, helped them to achieve their chosen careers.

Joanne explains one volunteer was inspired to become a social worker, another became a professor.

"They would come from all over the UK," says Joanne.

It was during the summer in the 1980s when Joanne was working as a volunteer support worker with CSV that she met Simone who had come over from her native Switzerland.

Simone spent six months volunteering in Wolverhampton and six months volunteering in Bradford.

"We became friends," says Joanne.

Her role was to visit the students and she recalls taking them on walks and hosting get togethers and lunches for them.

Joanne spent four months as a volunteer support worker before joining the children's charity, Barnardos as a regional support worker. She left there to take up photography.

But the links she made while working for the CSV remain through her 30 year friendship with Simone who she recently met with to commemorate their special anniversary.

"They were very happy times," says Joanne, referring to her role with the CSV.

"There were some really lovely young people coming from all over the country and the world. These were all young people who had probably never been to Bradford before and probably wouldn't have been to Bradford before," says Joanne.

"The students got a fabulous life experience out of it and for some it was their first time away from home."