CVS Falkirk and Falkirk Council together would like to highlight the value of volunteering within the communities of Falkirk and District, the commitment volunteers give each day to help and benefit the lives of others, and the response of volunteers to COVID-19 pandemic.
Jen Kerr, Chief Executive of CVS Falkirk, said: “People helping people is at the heart of every community, every day and none more so than during this time of uncertainty, illness and need. Within the first weeks of the COVID-19 restrictions, local volunteers, groups and organisations came together to form support and ways to look after the most vulnerable in our communities. Furthermore, 1,400 others offered to help if they were needed. Thankfully, we haven’t needed more crisis response volunteers but the offer and good will deserves a special thank you from us all in every neighbourhood and from every house.
“So during this unique Volunteers’ Week, we would like to extend our thanks to the thousands of people who stepped forward to volunteer but have not yet been asked to take on specific tasks and to those that have been actively involved. As we adapt to our new normal and organisations are keen to return to delivering their services and activities, we will need you to help renew and build our communities. The social impacts of this pandemic will remain with us long after the virus is gone and let’s ensure that more volunteering is one of the positive ones.”
The response was phenomenal, with at least 1,200 local residents actively volunteering and more than 1,400 people signing up to volunteer. With the numbers of infection remaining lower than anticipated locally, many of these people have not yet started volunteering but we still want to thank them.
Leader of Falkirk Council, Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, said: “Words don’t seem enough at this time, regardless I would like to extend my gratitude, on behalf of Falkirk Council, to every one of our Falkirk volunteers. Many of our vulnerable residents have managed to stay home and keep well solely because of the kindness, creativity and commitment of our volunteers and our third sector. I look forward to thanking some of you in person when it is safe to do so.
“Our present challenging circumstances has shone a light on the value of our volunteers and the unshakeable community spirit across Falkirk. Kindness, compassion and responsiveness are the three words I would use to describe each and every person, no matter their age, who have volunteered their time within community led activities and those who have checked in on their neighbours and provided practical support from picking up shopping and prescriptions to putting their bins out or lending laptops and iPads so they can keep in touch with their families.”
To mark this amazing effort as well as to provide a space to celebrate, a new website is being launched during Volunteers Week: Volunteer Falkirk. This site will become a hub of information for volunteers or people interested in getting involved in volunteering activity in Falkirk. They want to hear from you if you are a volunteer, if you have been helped by a volunteer or a kind neighbour, if you are an organisation who involve volunteers, or if you would like your message of thanks included in this year’s celebration.
Victoria McRae, Operations Manager, CVS Falkirk and Volunteer Falkirk explained: “Volunteers’ Week is truly the highlight of our year: recognising and celebrating volunteering within our communities, the individuals, groups and organisations who continue to make a real difference every day to people like you and me.
Whilst COVID-19 volunteering response is taking center-stage presently, we can’t forget the fantastic volunteers who contribute throughout the year in their communities, many of whom swiftly changed the way they volunteer so they could continue to help where it was needed. They truly are amazing, and while they do not seek recognition or reward we really do want to say thank you to each and every one of them.”
On behalf of CVS Falkirk and Volunteer Falkirk, Falkirk Council and partners, and all of our local communities thank you so much for all the volunteering hours and activities that you and your team dedicate to supporting others. You are all truly amazing!