Praise and thanks to our volunteers

1 June 2021

As this week marks ‘Volunteers Week’, Councillor David Lloyd has publicly praised and thanked every single volunteer across Newark and Sherwood without whom he believes ‘many more would have suffered alone for the past year in desperate isolation.’

This past year has been a year like no other.  Where communities have come together to help each other.  And this week marks an annual recognition of the dedication and hard work of the many volunteers that work relentlessly day in and day out across the District to help others.  Taking place every year between 1 and 7 June, Volunteers’ Week, established in 1984, and now in its 37th year, recognises the contribution of over 20 million people who volunteer in their communities across the UK.  The week also aims to raise awareness about the benefits of becoming a volunteer and about the diverse volunteering roles that are available. 

Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council comments, “The pandemic has hit many families and loved ones hard during the past year and at times we’ve felt ourselves living in a time full of uncertainty, a time full of worry and a time where we need to lean on others for help and support. 

“Out of this unprecedented situation, has come a wave of community spirit and community support that I have never seen in my lifetime and I’ve always been amazed at the efforts of those in our communities. 

“As restrictions start to ease we can finally look back at what has been accomplished and offer thanks to those that stood up during the darkest days.

“At Newark and Sherwood District Council, we could not have got this far as we look towards a brighter future after the worst of the pandemic, without volunteer support.  And it’s not just in Newark, volunteers have stepped forward across the UK, to get us through this pandemic together.”

In previous years volunteers within Newark and Sherwood have been invited to a number of special thank you events held by Newark and Sherwood District Council and Newark and Sherwood CVS.  For the second year however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of these events have had to be cancelled.  However, the District Council and CVS now, more than ever, want to recognise and give praise to the tremendous effort of every individual volunteer and community group.

Madeleine O’Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer at Newark and Sherwood CVS said: “Over the last year, hundreds of volunteers have stepped forward to support their local communities. When we put out a call for volunteers to support the roll out of the vaccination programme over 1,200 volunteers registered, providing a huge 10,000 hours of volunteering per month. 

“We feel very privileged to work with all our volunteers old and new and, to be able to raise awareness of the huge difference they make. In this, a year that has made volunteering history; we give them our heartfelt thanks.”

The number of volunteer groups across the District continues to be strong as community groups continue to support those affected by the pandemic. A countless number of individuals have stepped forward to offer their time and support.  Existing volunteer groups have continued to deliver their crucial work, with some adapting and taking on new ways to support local people. 

Hundreds of volunteer groups registered on the Nottinghamshire Coronavirus Community Support Hub since the pandemic began in March 2020 to ensure vital supplies of food and medicine can be delivered to those in need. 

This pandemic caused disruption both at the start of the pandemic and through Christmas 2020 and it posed challenges to practically everybody but District Council Leader Councillor David Lloyd said that communities throughout the district had been “exceptional in their response to the problems faced during the past year”.

Anyone who has  concerns about a vulnerable friend or neighbour can get in touch with the District Council via the Nottinghamshire Coronavirus Community Support Hub by emailing enquiries@nottscc.gov.uk in the first instance or by calling 0300 500 8080 if they do not have access to the internet.  Trained staff and a support network of volunteers are on hand to assist. The Hub coordinates national voluntary services working in Newark and Sherwood, local volunteers and community groups, forming a link between residents needing help and those able to provide it.

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