Released from South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Council on 27 May 2021
The leaders of South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils have offered their thanks and gratitude to the thousands of volunteers across both districts ahead of volunteers’ week.
During the 37th annual Volunteers’ Week, which takes place from the 1-7 June, the councils will be taking the “time to say thanks” and highlighting the invaluable contribution volunteers make to community groups and voluntary organisations across South Oxfordshire and the Vale.
This time last year England had started to come out of its first lockdown. Voluntary organisations and community groups had stepped up to help in any way that they could with some people volunteering for the first time.
The councils Community Hub team worked with hundreds of volunteers as part of their Covid-19 response co-ordinating emergency food deliveries, collections of prescriptions and providing calls and a voice to speak to for those in need. Many council staff also took on new voluntary roles as part of their Covid-19 response throughout the last year.
The councils are supporting Oxfordshire’s Covid-19 Heroes awards. The new High Sheriff for Oxfordshire, Imam Monawar Hussain, is inviting award nominations to honour those who have played an important role in the county’s local response to the pandemic.
Residents can nominate people via an application form, and the judging will take place in June, with an awards ceremony in July.
Whilst the pandemic has put a spotlight on the work of volunteers and their positive impact on our communities, the councils have worked alongside voluntary groups and organisations across the districts for many years. They are a vital resource to help connect council services to those who are vulnerable and in need.
Cllr Emily Smith, Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council said: “We knew before the pandemic that there was great community spirit across the Vale. However, this year residents have really stepped up to help the vulnerable and those in need.
“I’m proud to live in such a great area where the volunteers have made such an incredible difference. I hope that the new and expanded partnerships go from strength to strength as we continue to work together to provide support for our residents.”
Cllr Sue Cooper, Leader with responsibility for Climate Change and Nature Recovery at South Oxfordshire District Council said: “Thank you almost doesn’t seem enough but from all of us at South Oxfordshire we send out biggest heart felt thank you to everyone who has volunteered during this incredibly hard year and to those who continue to do so.
“Without your time and dedication much needed good causes and charitable organisations wouldn’t be able to reach as many people as they do. Volunteers who give their time to work with heritage, nature and the environment to others that help children and vulnerable residents, you make such a difference. As a council we will continue to work alongside these organisations through our grant schemes and So Charitable Lottery.”