Volunteering Through Change
Volunteering during this unprecedented period in human history has never been so important or so vital to so many as it is today, to use the words made famous by Winston Churchill during Britain’s darkest hour “Never was so much owed by so many to so few” wouldn’t be an exaggeration neither overly dramatic in describing how essential volunteers have been and continue to be in our fight against COVID-19 (the invisible enemy). The latest figures from the Civil Society Almanac show that we are generally a charitable nation. Four in ten of us (an estimated 20.1 million people) volunteered through groups, clubs or organisation in the UK in 2018. Since lockdown began, the UK has seen an outpouring of solidarity and unselfish sacrifice by so few (comparatively speaking) to help so many. Mutual Aid groups have sprung up across the country in response to the crisis. When the NHS advertised for volunteers to help support vulnerable people, nearly five people per second enlisted in the Government scheme. In five days, the number of volunteers committing to join the NHS Covid-19 initiative had reached 750,000, three times higher than the initial target, demonstrating the willingness of people to step-forward and volunteer.
Why do people volunteer:
The coronavirus pandemic has seen a rapid rise in grassroots activities known as “spontaneous volunteering”. Many people feel a need to offer help to neighbours or to set up local initiatives. With more than 70% of UK companies having to furlough staff as part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, many people were motivated to volunteer by the fear of not having anything to do however, the vast majority wanted to do something to support the vulnerable and loved ones within their community. Therefore, it would be safe to assume that the overwhelming reason why people volunteer is because they care about the wellbeing of others.
The power of Volunteering:
Croydon Vision has a host of talented volunteers from various and varied backgrounds who are committed to ensure that the vulnerable amongst us are not forgotten neither left behind during this unprecedented crisis. Our volunteers have worked tirelessly throughout the lockdown period, delivering lunches, collecting and dropping off shopping/medication, befriending those who are isolating, socially isolated or sheilding through weekly telephone contact etc, and are generally trying to make a positive difference in the lives of our members through acts of random kindness (ARK).
COVID-19 Moving Forward:
Croydon Vision doesn’t have a crystal ball thus, were unable to know what the future holds for us as an organisation and our members. We continue to operate within government guidelines and advice, which currently forms the main basis on the types of services we offer our members and the manner by which these services are delivered. Having said that our staff and volunteers stand ready and willing to meet whatever challenges lays ahead of us and are committed to delivering a first class service to our members.
Glen Brazier – Volunteer