Volunteers Week 2020

Volunteers’ Week is the annual celebration of millions of people across the UK who give their time and skills to help their communities by volunteering. It’s just one of the ways in which we can recognise and celebrate the contribution that volunteers make.

Normally marked with events up and down the country, celebrations for Volunteers’ Week looked a little different this year but it’s been incredible to see so many people getting involved.

Far from business as usual

This year is different for very obvious reasons. With many restrictions still in place, coronavirus dominates almost every aspect of our lives and the normal celebrations associated with the week were put on hold. Not least because of current constraints on our own capacity. It must have been an extremely difficult decision but the correct one due to these unprecedented times to step back from many of the things that voluntary organisations have been so used to doing around Volunteers’ Week.

One of the most encouraging things to come out of this terrible chapter has been the willingness of people to step forward to help, and much of the Volunteers’ Week activity that has taken place this year has focused on recognising the incredible contribution that volunteers make, both before and during this crisis.

Volunteers have stood alongside NHS staff at hospitals up and down the UK, volunteer ambulance crews are supporting 999 call-outs, thousands have been delivering medicines from pharmacies, driving patients to and from hospital or making phone calls to check on people isolating at home.

It is no exaggeration to say that Volunteers are playing a critical role more now than ever alongside health and care services proving vital care and helping communities cope with coronavirus, and will continue to do so in the coming months.

Across the country, thousands of charities and volunteers have swung into action to address the wider social and economic impacts of lockdown.

The speed at which mutual aid groups came together, and at which organisations responded to the challenging circumstances, is testament to not only those willing to step forward but also the strength and depth of civil society. Charities and community groups have enabled hundreds of thousands of people to support others through this crisis.

And of course, we should not forget the enormous contribution that volunteers are making today and every day, to an incredible array of causes and community efforts.

Helping the helpers

During these challenging and difficult times I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to all my fellow employees especially to all of our incredible volunteers who have shared their time and talents and have all came together in response to our current pandemic to help our most vulnerable individuals.

Hundreds of face masks have been produced thanks to my inspiring fellow coop community pioneer colleagues and volunteers to help reduce the infection rates of Covid – 19.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jessie who has made thirty face masks which have all be handed out in the West Kilbride coop store, to stop the infection rates of coronavirus.

Jessie made the face masks which could be picked up for a small donation of toiletries which have all been handed to local care homes, everyone has benefited from the voluntary work of Jessie and our outstanding sewing time.

Steven Connelly

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