A drive to get people out and about after the Covid pandemic has led to a second successful volunteer recruitment fair.

Nine voluntary organisations set up stalls and invited members of the public to joint their ranks at the fair, organised by the Highgate Society.

The society itself had a tough two-years in the wake of the pandemic with groups unable to hire their function room in Highgate Village because of the restrictions, which dented the organisation’s coffers.

“Covid was a problem with people not wanting to go out,” the society’s chair William Britain told the Ham and High. “We had two years of inactivity and had to rebuild our finances.”

The idea of a recruitment fair came during the Coronation weekend last year with the nationwide ‘help out’ campaign.

“We wanted to do something special,” William added. “So we decided to hold volunteer fairs each year, like graduate recruitment fairs.

“We had a steady flow of visitors throughout the morning who were interested in finding out what local volunteer opportunities were available.”

The society with its 1,300 active members acts as a catalyst for community groups like those taking part in the fair at its South Grove function hall on March 24.

Each group set up a stall, with Friends of Highgate Cemetery recruiting several volunteers.

Muswell Hill Sustainability Group and Growing Green, a community-interest company in Dartmouth Park that needs volunteers for its tree planting and making neighbourhoods greener were also represented.

Others taking part were Highgate’s Fair in the Square, Highgate Neighbourhood Forum, Hornsey Historical Society and Better Archway Forum.

Politicians turned up to lend support, including Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq, Cllr Camron Aref-Adib, who represents Highgate on Camden Council, and London Assembly member Anne Clarke, who represents Barnet and Camden at City Hall.

The Highgate Society was founded in 1966 by campaigners who had halted Department of Transport plans in 1962 to route A1 traffic northwards through the village, with southbound vehicles using the Archway Road as a giant one-way system. Their attention led to an alternative widening of Archway Road as a bypass instead, which kept heavy traffic out of the village.

The society has continued its ‘guardian’ role ever since.