The Jewish Chronicle
JVN honours work of volunteers in pandemic
THE PANDEMIC has changed our lives. It has brought fear, uncertainty, economic disaster and much suffering to our communities. Yet here at JVN, what we have been struck by is the overwhelming power of kindness. From last March, volunteers in their thousands offered to support charities across the UK. The furloughed, the recently unemployed, students back home due to university closures and others simply trying to make sense of our new world order, registered to deliver food and medicines, befriend the vulnerable and elderly, help out at food banks, tutor children or use their furloughed skills to help charities suffering from lack of staff and resources.
The number of new volunteers registering on the JVN website tripled during the first lockdown. It has been inspirational, witnessing so many people during this time of great need offering to help others.
Jacob Forman, social action and volunteering programmer at JW3, says: “The volunteers from JVN have been
so helpful and an essential part of our work. It has covered all aspects from sterilising the food containers we use, to preparing food and delivering it. They have been an invaluable part of our food provision work, enabling us to get over 100,000 meals out to members of the public in need.”
Robert Koch, a volunteer with Age UK, says: “I wanted to give back and
help the community. I support the elderly who are alone and scared and I know at the end of the day my call is their lifeline.”
With the start of the vaccine programme, JVN advertised opportunities for volunteers to sign up for centres through charities across London and Manchester. Again, a staggering number of applicants flooded our site and we were delighted to be able to signpost these enthusiastic volunteers to help with this wonderful programme.
It is essential JVN recognises the amazing contribution of our volunteers. Without them, many individuals would not receive the help they so desperately need during this difficult period. Our annual JVN Celebration of Volunteering awards ceremony, like many other events, will take place virtually this year. Charities have been invited to nominate volunteers and volunteer teams in four categories: l Volunteer of the year l Volunteer team of the year l Innovation in technology during the Covid pandemic l Lifetime achievement award JVN has introduced the innovation award to recognise the amazing contributions and projects that have been set up during Covid-19 which have simply saved communities and individuals. We thank and appreciate all our volunteers for shining their light of kindness during this bleak time.
The award ceremony will take place on March 2 at 7pm.