Volunteers’ Week (https://volunteersweek.org) takes place every 1 to 7 June. It recognises the contribution volunteers make to their communities and, this year, the key role they’ve played during the pandemic.
Claire Richards is the manager at the Westway Centre:
“The Westway couldn’t function without volunteers. Pre-Covid we had incredible support but the response since March 2020 has been phenomenal. There are now nearly 300 people who’ve been involved in some way in the last 18 months. The Dial-a-Ride team, who are all volunteers, have been amazing, too!”
Emily Taggart-Edmeades was on furlough when she set up the Tandridge branch of Free Cakes for Kids in March this year. She now has 25 volunteers baking for local children, who would otherwise go without a birthday cake.
“Charities, food banks and other organisations contact me if there’s a child who would appreciate a cake. It sounds like a small thing, but it means a lot. We personalise it for them, and they can share it with friends and family, making their day special.”
Deano Cline is a founder member of the Whyteleafe and Kenley Community Hub:
“I am delighted that what started out as a few people helping their community has become a large network of volunteers determined to help Whyteleafe become a better, friendlier place to live."
Tandridge Voluntary Action (TVA) supports the voluntary and community sector. They have found volunteers for the vaccination programme and school covid-testing, and their long-running Befriending Scheme is a vital link for those who are lonely or isolated.
TVA manager, Lynne Martin:
“Over the last year we’ve stepped up to respond to the covid situation. Many people have wanted to help, and we’ve matched them with appropriate activities, including within the local groups that started up to help residents.”
During Volunteer’s Week, TVA, working with other members of the Council of Voluntary Services in Surrey, is launching Time to Change, a project aimed at encouraging organisations to recruit more volunteers between the ages of 19 and 25. For more information, contact Laura Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TVA is always looking for new volunteers. Lynne says:
“Sometimes, people aren’t sure where to start, but we can point them in the right direction.”
Free Cakes for Kids Tandridge: https://www.facebook.com/freecakesforkidstandridge/
The Westway Centre:https://thewestway.org/
Whyteleafe & Kenley Community Hub: