Next week sees the return of Volunteers Week.
The theme of Volunteer’s Week, which runs from 1 to 7 June, this year is to say thank you to everyone across the borough who has stepped up in one way or another to volunteer and help our community during this difficult year.
Thousands of residents have made a massive contribution to hundreds of causes, making a difference to tens of thousands of residents.
At the start of the pandemic, over 2,500 answered the call for volunteers to support the Community Hub and provided an invaluable network of helpers who stepped up to deliver food, prescriptions, walk dogs, befriending and countless other activities to support the most vulnerable in our community.
Longstanding partner, Charlton Athletic Community Trust, has also been at the forefront of coordinating volunteers at the testing centres and new players like Greenwich Mutual Aid volunteers, working on Facebook and other platforms, have filled essential gaps during these unprecedented months.
Councillor Adel Khaireh, Cabinet Member for Culture, Communities and Equalities at the council said: “We want to take this opportunity to recognise and show our appreciation for the role volunteers have played during the pandemic. Throughout, our local Volunteer Centre Greenwich has coordinated hundreds of volunteers serving other frontline services including the hugely successful vaccination programme and Project Hope at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, both rolled out at the start of the dangerous second wave. Their befrienders have never stopped making essential calls to the vulnerable. We are all so grateful to everyone for their selfless and tireless commitment at a really scary time in everyone’s lives.”
Michelle Martin, Chief Executive Volunteer Centre Greenwich, said: “The pandemic has highlighted the power and compassion of the volunteers, who have tirelessly supported the valuable work of our members, ensuring for many that services, especially those supporting our most vulnerable residents continued to operate during such a difficult time.”
Behind the scenes, from school governors to charity trustees, faith groups, parish councils and grass-roots coordinators volunteers have been there to support the front line services – providing strategic advice, guidance and expertise to ensure organisations can adapt with the challenges, remain sustainable and support paid staff. From Friends of Parks to neighbourhood litter pickers, they have helped enhance our environment. Each and every one is an unsung hero of the pandemic.
If this pandemic has caused you to look for an opportunity to give back to the community and take up a new hobby or challenge, why not volunteer for a cause in the borough. There are loads of opportunities available on the Volunteer Centre Greenwich’s website. Volunteering is beneficial in many ways including health and activity, wellbeing, social connectivity, as well as building on and gaining essential skills for employment or development.
If you are interested in volunteering to support the vaccination programme and would like more information please visit www.vcgreenwich.org.uk/vaccination-programme-volunteer-role