The first week of June marks National Volunteers Week. It is a chance to celebrate volunteering and highlight the amazing work that volunteers do. The past year has been very different for so many reasons. Those who normally volunteer have had to react and change what they normally do and those who have never volunteered before have stepped forward due to having more time on their hands. Delivering emergency food parcels and prescriptions, telephone befriending, marshalling at vaccination clinics are just some of the many roles in which volunteers have proved vital to people’s health and well-being during this pandemic. We want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all. We know what a huge difference to made to people’s lives. One client who received prescriptions during the first lockdown said “Your volunteers have been amazing. I am shielding and without them, I don’t know what I would have done. Thank you just doesn’t seem enough!” The organisations were so grateful to those volunteers who stepped up. The staff at the Lower Earley vaccination clinic were one of these, “We literally couldn’t have done this without you! The volunteers are all amazing people who have given their time to help us, they aren’t just another pair of hands but throw themselves in the roles with willingness and a positivity which makes each clinic run smoothly. They make each person feel welcomed as they show kindness to those passing through our clinics, help keep us all safe and they bring a lot of smiles with them. THANK YOU.”
As restrictions ease and life beings to return to some sort of normality, charities are also getting back to normal, whether it is Scouts and Guide groups meeting up, volunteer reading mentors going into schools, lunch clubs for the elderly and charity shops reopening. These local charities and many more need your support. Volunteering is so flexible and can fit around life, work and family commitments.
If you can give a couple of hours per week (or more!) and are keen to make a difference in your local community, please visit the Wokingham Volunteer Centre website www.volunteerwokinghamborough.org.uk , call 0118 977 0749 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Helena Badger, Volunteer Services Manager at the Wokingham Volunteer Centre says, “We really want people to keep the feeling of community going and continue to help people in need. It really does change people’s lives; both those who volunteer and those who are helped by volunteers. Volunteering can help you gain new skills, meet new people, test the water for a career change, allow you to give something back and help a cause you really believe in.”