Paisley Daily Express
Volunteers hailed for their dedicated efforts
Celebrations thanking the thousands of people who volunteered to help charities during the covid pandemic are set to take place throughout Renfrewshire next week.
Organisations will be thanking those who give their time to their groups as they celebrate Volunteers Week, which runs each year from June 1 to 7.
Charities and community groups will join thousands of voluntary organisations across the UK, recognising the contribution volunteers make, and thanking them for all they do as part of the 37th annual celebration.
Throughout the week, a host of thank you events will take place across Renfrewshire.
Charitable groups are still restricted from meeting up in large numbers, so gatherings will be kept low-key with small outdoor get-togethers, online Zoom lunches, and doorstep drops of thank you gifts.
The contribution of volunteers is often unseen and unrecognised by many, visible only through the incredible impact of their volunteering.
However, the coronavirus pandemic has raised the profile of volunteering and more people than ever are aware of the immense contribution being made every single day by volunteers.
Alice McBride, volunteer development officer at Engage Renfrewshire, said: “The volunteer response in Renfrewshire has been truly heartwarming to see.
“Communities quickly came together during lockdown to ensure those most at risk were supported.
“Many of Renfrewshire’s existing volunteer groups found themselves unable to meet, but then adapted quickly to the restrictions of lockdown.
“It has been wonderful to support the many volunteer leaders who have worked tirelessly to ensure their community of volunteers stayed connected, even when normal activities were suspended.
“On behalf of all of us at Engage, we would like to thank everyone who has volunteered their time to support others over the last year.”
Alan Stevenson, chief executive of Volunteer Scotland, said“Volunteers’ Week is a time to thank all of the volunteers in the UK, for the support and services they provide each year.
“The pandemic has changed volunteering, with many more of us helping others within our neighbourhood than ever before, so taking the time to thank volunteers for this critical contribution and connection to the most vulnerable in our society is essential.”
As part of the celebrations, Engage Renfrewshire - which supports hundreds of groups and charities in the area - is encouraging members of the public to get involved and submit their thanks to the volunteers in their lives.
It can be a thank you to a charitable group you have supported for a long time, a dedicated thank you to a volunteer that you know, or a thank you to your neighbours who supported you through lockdown.
Submit your thank you message to firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject“Volunteers’Week Thank You”before Friday, June 4 and it will be shared publicly on Engage Renfrewshire’s social media and dedicated Volunteers’Week Thank You Board. Pictures are very welcome if you have permission to share them.
You can also follow the discussions or share your messaging online using the hashtags #VolunteersWeekScot and #RenfrewshireVolunteers
The organisation is also running a weekly, open drop-in for those interested in finding out about volunteering in Renfrewshire.
It will be held digitally due to continued covid restrictions, but with hopes to offer a face-to-face option in the future. The drop-ins will be on Zoom every Thursday from 1.30pm to 2.30pm. No bookings are required, just email email@example.com for the Zoom link or more information.