LEICESTERSHIRE’S TIRELESS ARMY OF VOLUNTEERS THANKED DURING NATIONAL VOLUNTEERS WEEK
The actions of Leicestershire’s volunteers and voluntary organisations are set to be recognised as National Volunteers’ Week (1st – 7th June) takes on an alternative format this year. Due to Covid-19, the team at Voluntary Action LeicesterShire have come up with some innovative ways to express their gratitude to the county’s voluntary sector and provide a bespoke programme of activities, culminating in the premiere of a special video.
Alongside the estimated 6,000 charities and community groups across Leicester and Leicestershire, the current pandemic has also seen an ‘army’ of over 2,400 new volunteers step up and sign up to support their local community following VAL’s recent outreach campaign, run in conjunction with Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council.
Although the team at VAL are unable to run their usual packed schedule of events and workshops during this year’s National Volunteers’ Week, they have come up with some alternative solutions to continue their support for the charities and organisations under their care.
From a Volunteering Network Zoom session with speakers including Dave Andrews (Deputy Lieutenant of Leicestershire), to training webinars on managing remote volunteers and a live Q&A via Twitter. By the end of the week, VAL are also due to premiere a heart-warming video featuring well-known faces from the region, volunteers and VAL staff as a final thank you to all those who are providing support and volunteering their time across Leicester and Leicestershire.
Kevin Allen-Khimani, Executive Manager – Public Sector Contracts & Projects at VAL, said: “The current Coronavirus lockdown has enabled individuals to take stock of what is important in life, and that has overwhelmingly been helping others.
“I think we have all felt vulnerable during the last few months, in one way or another, but at VAL we’ve seen a dramatic increase in registrations from citizens of Leicestershire who want to volunteer their time and skills to make things better or easier for others. It’s hugely commendable and we hope that this is the real legacy to Covid-19, upon which we can build and develop further in the future”.
The team are hopeful that those who have pledged their time more recently throughout the pandemic, will continue to find the opportunity to support others through volunteering as things move back to “normal”.
Kevin continues: “Although we know that the current situation has of course increased the need for volunteers across the region, there are still so many charities and small groups that will require ongoing support. Our hope is that the importance placed on helping others over the last few months will continue as we navigate our way through the next phase of emerging from lockdown and beyond.”