Volunteers praised for supporting vulnerable people during pandemic
- Credit: Archant
Council leaders have paid tribute to the ‘extraordinary’ community work carried out by volunteers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
To mark Volunteers’ Week, which runs from June 1-7, North Somerset Council has thanked everyone who has gone above and beyond to help others.
When the first lockdown was issued in March 2020, volunteers stepped up to help people who were shielding or isolated.
In Clevedon alone, volunteers carried out 14,520 tasks, provided 5,094 hot meals for the community, spent 3,000 hours on the phone doing wellbeing calls and collected 1,637 prescriptions for people who were unable to go out themselves.
The volunteers also delivered thousands of items of PPE to health care services, care homes and businesses; provided 78 families with digital devices and collected five tonnes of Foodbank donations.
Volunteer groups across the district teamed up North Somerset Council, town and parish councils, and other critical organisations such as mutual aid and faith groups, Voluntary Action North Somerset, Citizen’s Advice and housing associations to form North Somerset Together.
The new collective was set up to ensure everyone was able to access essential supplies and nobody was left isolated during the pandemic.
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More than 8,500 requests for help were received by North Somerset Together during the first year of Covid-19.
Around 2,200 volunteers from towns and villages across North Somerset picked up and delivered prescriptions, did shopping, delivered hot food and provided a lifeline for isolated residents.
A council spokesman said: “We cannot overstate the enormous contribution made by every member of North Somerset Together during the last year.
“The response of our communities to look after and support our most vulnerable residents has been inspirational and gave such encouragement during the very difficult days of this pandemic.
“As an organisation we are so grateful to each and every person who has given their time to our community and our residents. You have made a very real impact on lives, and truly made a difference.
“And this goes beyond North Somerset Together to every volunteer during the last year. Whether you’ve been finding new ways to run your clubs online, helping your neighbour with a regular cup of tea and a chat, or fund-raising in new and inventive ways - thank you.”