The first week of June marks Volunteers Week. As an annual celebration of volunteers, it gives organisations, large and small, the opportunity to recognise the contribution volunteers make to our communities.
The theme for Volunteers Week 2021 is, time to say thanks.
It is no secret that amongst many other things, volunteering at The Wallich was impacted by COVID-19.
From ensuring all our service users had access to the internet, keeping 24 critical services running and continuing to provide outreach for people sleeping rough during the height of the pandemic, The Wallich had to adapt.
Our volunteers have helped in so many ways throughout this pandemic, with patience, determination and a constant enthusiasm.
Volunteers across Wales helped us deliver food to projects, provide virtual coaching sessions and, in some cases, volunteers have been able to return to their original roles, with social distancing protocols and sufficient PPE.
Many of our projects are still not able to safely take on volunteers. Our COVID aims set out early in the pandemic includes keeping everyone safe from transmission, and that includes volunteers.
However, we are slowly starting to see an increase projects preparing to take on new volunteers in the coming months.
There are numerous ways in which a volunteer can have a positive impact within one of our projects or the wider community in general.
Volunteering is good for the mental health of our clients, staff and the person volunteering – just having someone else to connect with helps share the anxieties of the time we’re living through.
As they give something back to the community, volunteers make a difference to the people around them and gain or build on current skills in the process.
By taking on volunteers, here are the ways they have a positive impact on our services:
I would like to say thank you, to everyone who has volunteered with us throughout this difficult year.
Whether you have volunteered once with us, or are a regular volunteer, it has not been an easy ride, but I take solace in knowing that we have been able to facilitate some opportunities for people wanting to give back.
I would like to also say thank you to our staff in projects across Wales, that have welcomed and embraced volunteers with open arms (figuratively, not literally this year unfortunately).
At The Wallich, we believe that volunteering is a two way-street – both The Wallich’s service users and our volunteers should benefit from the placement.
It will always be our ambition to make sure anyone who gives their time feels valued, understood and proud to be part of The Wallich.
It is paramount that we continue to provide opportunities within our communities to help tackle homelessness.
Are you interested in becoming a volunteer? Find out more