‘Support your community and make a difference by volunteering,’ that is the call from Monmouthshire County Council at the start of National Volunteers Week 2020. The council is asking for people to offer their time to support others as it aims to build on its growing army of excellent volunteers.
Volunteers have been vital in helping Monmouthshire’s most vulnerable residents during the current pandemic and more than 60 local self-organised groups with hundreds of volunteers have sprung up in response to Covid-19. They have been supporting local people with collecting shopping, medication, telephone befriending, dog walking, letter posting, delivering recycling bags and even a television repair. These groups and the volunteers have been quick to act, responsive and friendly. Producing neighbourhood level responses to a national crisis and ensuring that in these difficult times, nobody is without food, medicine, friendship or support has been pivotal – local community action at its best.
The 1st – 7th June event will also see the council celebrating the incredibly valuable work of the many volunteers from across Monmouthshire. Every day, thousands of people give their time, expertise, knowledge and commitment to the local community, doing their bit to improve the quality of life for all and to support and serve others. The list of potential opportunities to volunteer really is unlimited.
Volunteering roles in the local communities include:
· volunteering in the arts, theatres and museums
· giving their time in school to listen to readers or help out with a club
· supporting walking for wellbeing clubs
· supporting meals on wheels
· supporting foodbanks
· giving their time to the local hospital
· participating in intergenerational activities.
People wanting to lend their time to supporting others are also being encouraged to sign up to the new ‘Our Monmouthshire’ website (https://ourmonmouthshire.org/ ) which has details of many varied ways people can help without a long term commitment. This website also features a fantastic new ‘time banking’ function.
Monmouthshire County Council Chair, Sheila Woodhouse said: “Giving of our time to support and serve the local community, in whichever way works for us, enriches the heartbeat of our local communities and strengthens the very fabric of our society. Doing your bit for the community has a huge impact – whether through helping to give somebody a voice, or having your voice heard; whether ensuring local people have enough food to eat or ensuring a street remains litter free. Giving of our time for others is also great for our own wellbeing. The work of volunteers from across the county is amazing – and we would like to pay tribute to you all.”