1 June 2020

A big thank you to all the city’s volunteers

This year’s Volunteers Week (1-7 June) comes at a time where the power of volunteering is clearer than ever.

Huge numbers of people have been volunteering to support the city’s response to Covid-19 over the past few months. 

People across the city have been growing, cooking and delivering food to the city’s most vulnerable people. 

More than 700 volunteers delivered 155,000 community newsletters with vital information on accessing support.

Others have been delivering food, toiletries and donated kindles, tablets and consoles to homeless people supported in safe accommodation. 

The list goes on - it’s been an incredible response.

But volunteers provide vital support to people across the city in all circumstances.

There are many people who do fantastic voluntary work throughout the year who haven’t been able to carry on their normal activities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This Volunteers Week is a chance to celebrate and thank them all for the contribution they make.

Invaluable work

Councillor Carmen Appich, chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee, said: 

“Every year, the city’s many volunteers provide vital support and contribute a great deal to life in the city.

“This year, more than ever, the city owes a huge debt of gratitude to the people who have given their time to support others.

“And this year, more than ever, vulnerable people in the city have needed that support. 

“It has been heartening the see the city’s communities come together to look after each other throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

“On behalf of the city, I’d like to thank everyone who volunteers for the vital support they’ve given and continue to give. Thank you.”

Skills and experience

People of all ages in Brighton & Hove regularly volunteer in a wide range of activities. 

Their work in the city and with the council is invaluable. Volunteers add value to services through their skills and life experiences and they improve the city in which we live and work. 

Volunteering also brings its own reward. It can increase a person’s wellbeing, bring a closer connection to their local communities, and can provide new skills and experience.

Here’s a small selection of some of our wonderful volunteers working alongside services in the council.

Supporting the community

The Community Engagement Team had an enormous response to a plea for volunteers to deliver Covid-19 community information to every household in the city.  

Volunteers included Iranian refugees Mos, Mohammed and Bistoun who had contacted Sanctuary-on-Sea to see what they could do to help. 

The three friends distributed over 1,500 newsletters in Central Brighton and were delighted to do what they could to help the community that’s now their home. 

Independent visitors

Sarah has volunteered with the Youth Participation Team as an independent visitor for the last five years.  

She is matched with a young person in care and meets with them once or twice a month to provide ongoing support.  

Sarah said: “Getting to know my young person has been a joy - and it has been great to see her grow in confidence over the last few years.”

Supporting families

Over the past few years, Tracy has been a regular volunteer at the Roundabout Children’s Centre in Whitehawk and the Chomp out-of-school sessions providing nutritional food and activities for families experiencing financial difficulty.  

Tracy has also completed the PACE programme supporting her to get into work and has now started work at Downsview Special school.

Healthwalks

Volunteer walk leaders have been finding other great ways to share their love of the outdoor during lockdown.  

Vivienne, volunteer Stanmer Park walk leader, has pursued her passion for trees and created a ‘Great Trees of Brighton’ trail on the TiCL app for mapping trees, which featured in London’s Urban Tree Festival in May.

More information

You can find out more about volunteering in Brighton & Hove on the Community Works website

Community Works are also supporting Volunteers Week in the city. Throughout the week they are sharing thank you videos as well as stories from people who volunteer saying what volunteering means to them. Have a look, or share your story by tagging @bh_cw on twitter.

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