Volunteers Week 2021: Council and partners pay tribute to Shropshire’s volunteers
Shropshire Council and partners are celebrating the difference volunteers across the county make to their organisation, and thanking them for all their time and dedication, during this year’s Volunteers Week running until Monday 7 June 2021.
The contribution of volunteers is often unseen and unrecognised by many, visible only through the incredible impact of their volunteering. However, Shropshire’s volunteers are thought to contribute £134.4 million per annum to the local economy (based on 56,609 formal and 73,157 informal volunteers).
In Shropshire many roles include:
- Library volunteers
- Museum volunteers
- School governors
- Volunteer drivers
- Volunteers at parks and countryside sites
- Walking for Health walk leaders
- Parish Partnership and Parish Warden Scheme volunteers
- Shropshire Wild Team volunteers
- Coronavirus response and recovery volunteers
The coronavirus pandemic has raised the profile of volunteering and more people than ever are aware of the immense contribution being made every single day by Shropshire’s volunteers.
Lezley Picton, Leader of Shropshire Council, said-
“Volunteers have been, and continue to be, active in the heart of every Shropshire community, and are behind many of the services we all rely on.
“During what has been an exceptionally difficult year, people from all walks of life around the county have taken the time to volunteer and made a huge difference to people and their communities – just as they do every year.
“There has also an amazing response within our communities- mutual aid groups, voluntary and community sector groups and organisations, individuals and all those small acts of kindness and neighbourliness of ‘informal volunteering’ that really stood out as communities looking out for each other – all just as important as the bigger more formal volunteering work.
“This year’s theme is a time to say thanks! and we want to say a huge heartfelt thanks to all of Shropshire’s volunteers and recognising their contribution to the county.”
Despite the restrictions coronavirus has placed on our daily lives, volunteers and charities have been active through lockdowns and new waves of restrictions to support people, their communities and local environments.
As part of the #beapartofhistory campaign, Shropshire Council and partners- including Shropshire Rural Communities charity (SRCC), Shropshire Youth association (SYA) and Shropshire health and care organisations – recruited and supported volunteers for the vaccination and Lateral Flow Test (LFT) centres.
As a result of the successful campaign, LFT volunteers, because of their time and commitment contributed to a total of 10,709 Lateral Flow Tests being carried out across the Shropshire sites. In total our test centre volunteers have contributed over 820 hours.
Many long-term amazing volunteers were not able to support during the pandemic due to their age and health, and it is still important that they feel valued, and their years of support are recognised. Many will be keen to get back into volunteering now that vaccinations have been taken up.
Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, added:-
“Shropshire’s volunteers play a crucial role in supporting our local communities: this has been especially highlighted during the pandemic.
“We want to recognise all of those who have continued delivering vital work as volunteers over the past 15 months, but also all those who usually volunteer but have not been able to because of the pandemic.
“Their vital contribution has not stopped, despite the uncertain times we find ourselves in. Some are now volunteering online from home, others in person with a local charity or organisation; and will continue as an important part of our county’s recovery.
“Volunteers Week give us an opportunity to recognise the contribution of volunteers to communities during the pandemic, and thank those who usually volunteer but have not been able to. We would now like to encourage everyone to take the time to say thank you to all volunteers.”
The council and partners are continuing to work with the volunteers on the pandemic response, so we are ready in the event that we need to surge test in our area,or set up testing again to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
About Volunteers Week
- Volunteers Week is supported and celebrated by small grassroots organisations as well as larger, household-name charities, who together run hundreds of activities across the UK. These activities showcase and celebrate volunteers and the contribution volunteering makes in our communities.
- Volunteers Week 2021 is a time to say thanks. It goes without saying that volunteers have played a key role in the pandemic response. During an exceptionally difficult year, people from all walks of life around the UK have taken the time to volunteer and make a huge difference to their communities – just as they do every year. This is a time for us to come together and thank all volunteers for their invaluable contribution.
- This 37th annual Volunteers’ Week is taking place during the #MonthofCommunity. Running throughout June, #MonthOfCommunity brings together organisations with a range of events in order to encourage us all to think about and join in with activities happening in our local communities.
- Charities across the UK will also be holding events to thank their volunteers and celebrate the power of volunteering. Last year there were over 600 events across the country, from award ceremonies to tea parties and barbecues.
- For many charities the week will be a chance to showcase the range of volunteering opportunities on offer. Volunteer fairs and other events will be encouraged people to try volunteering for the first time and help people find out how, through volunteering, they can make a difference to a cause they are passionate about.
- Each day follows a central theme to guide your plans for Volunteers Week 2021.
- Find out more on the Volunteers Week website: https://volunteersweek.org/
- Find out about events happening in your area here: https://volunteersweek.org/get-involved/events/
- For volunteering statistics visit https://data.ncvo.org.uk/a/almanac17/volunteering-overview/
About #beapartofhistory campaign
As a result of the campaign, Shropshire Rural Communities Charity (SRCC) had 1,200 applications to volunteer from which 840 were deployed to vaccination and Lateral Flow Test centres.
Shropshire Council-run Lateral Flow Test centres had:
- 77 volunteers were referred from SRCC
- 53 volunteer induction conversations
- 45 people went on to do the online training
- Resulting in 35 volunteers doing onsite training and shifts at the test centres
- Volunteers covered a total of 132 shifts across all the LFT centres
- Totalling over 820 hours of time given
- Contributing (alongside council staff) to:10,709 Lateral Flow Tests being carried out across the four Shropshire sites
- 30 of the LFT volunteers have chosen to be on a mailing list with a view to volunteering with the council for any future coronavirus/emergency response required, or to support local communities.