Volunteers’ Week 2021 – A Time to Say Thanks

31st May 2021

The new normal, particularly as we celebrate National Volunteers Week 2021, seems so near and yet so far away. As life starts to take on a familiar yet still slightly strange feel over the coming late Spring and Summer months, it is time to reflect on something that has made a great impact to communities during the pandemic; the display of the human spirit and the achievements of volunteer contribution.

Achievement might seem a misplaced concept as we enter the 16th month of lockdowns and restrictions, but it does feel a million miles away for the initial fears of furlough, the exhausted medical staff, and the school children whose education has been greatly affected. Whilst a sense of ‘normal’ remains an ambiguous concept to us, particularly when mask-wearing and social distancing still form much of our outdoor expectations, at Volunteering Barnet we want to look beyond our limitations caused by the pandemic. We wish to recognise what has been achieved, by the communities we live in and the voluntary and community sectors, utilising volunteers, which has been at the forefront of the Covid response!

Looking around Barnet we quickly start to see the evidence of achievement; the results of human endeavour against the odds. You will see Vaccination Hubs manned by both medical professionals and trained volunteers, you will see delivery services, provided by a partnership of public sector and voluntary groups, for the vulnerable and those still at risk. You will see vital food banks, mental health awareness campaigns, fitness groups doing good work, and the return to nature manifesting itself in clean-up operations run and delivered by local people and volunteers. Most of all, what we see is the inspiring outcomes of the dedicated individuals who ensured their community survives, and strives tin its’ recovery. What an example of the ultimate achievement of true human spirit!

Barnet’s volunteers have been a true merit to the borough, their community and environment. Tens of thousands of hours of time, energy, support and advice have been given to a wide multitude of services and projects. At Volunteering Barnet, we’ve had a rise in volunteers unlike any other time. With over 2,500 volunteers registered on our website since March 2020, Barnet’s residents stepped up when needed. We have seen over 400 volunteers supporting vaccine support since January this year, helping keeping our community safe. In addition, we’ve had more than 300 volunteers start volunteering with Barnet’s community organisations, projects, Council, faith groups and more. The majority of volunteers we asked got involved because they wanted to help others and their local community, with over 40% of volunteers giving their time each week!

We want to say a huge THANK YOU to all our volunteers across Barnet, and beyond, for making all the difference in such an unprecedented and challenging chapter! To emphasise the involvement of our volunteering at Volunteering Barnet in the Covid-response and across the borough in various unique and special ways, Volunteering Barnet were presented with a Civic Award for Outstanding Service to the Community, for which we are very proud and grateful to all our volunteers for their hard work, dedication and unfathomable resilience! Colleague Matthew was one of the few staff members in the office during the pandemic who was delighted to receive the award!

To continue to celebrate the work of Volunteering Barnet’s volunteers, we will be celebrating National Volunteers Week 2021 with lots of online content, some surprise location visits (Covid-proof of course), and above all, saying a well-deserved huge thank you to each and every one of our volunteers. Their commitment to each other and our communities has been a driving force in the fight against Covid-19 worldwide. The achievement to come when ‘normal’ finally returns, however it chooses to return, will be even clearer. And that achievement will be in the re-invigorated human spirit that volunteers have displayed and owned in numbers since March 2020, and long may it continue!

Celebrate Volunteers’ Week 2021 with us to say thank you for your volunteers support or to celebrate your own volunteering experience, we will welcome posts on Twitter and Facebook and hope to re-share as many as we can. You can find out more about how you can get involved in this years Volunteers’ Week on the official page here.

In the meantime, if you are looking to volunteer and start a new exciting journey today, you can discover all our available roles here.

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