Ahead of Volunteers' Week, Cheshire East Council is thanking the thousands of volunteers in the borough who take time to help out in their community.
Volunteers' Week takes place every year from 1-7 June, and this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever to highlight the vital contribution of volunteers in Cheshire East.
Volunteers have played a key role in the pandemic response, supporting more than 4,200 individuals to access the vital help and support they need through the People Helping People scheme.
Through this scheme, vulnerable or shielding residents were able to receive essential medications and shopping, or emotional support. At its peak, 2,000 volunteers were signed up to offer their support, with the scheme coordinators overwhelmed with the fantastic response from the community and volume of applicants.
This support remains ongoing, with many other individuals being supported by volunteers outside of our People Helping People scheme throughout our communities.
The successful delivery of volunteer support across the borough is also driven by The Social Action Partnership, a long-term partner of the council that works with the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector.
Their outputs in establishing 16 volunteer coordination points across Cheshire East during the pandemic, enabled volunteer support to have a wide reach throughout the borough.
The work of volunteers will be celebrated throughout the week with a coordinated programme of volunteer stories, case studies, and social media activity, shining light on the selfless people who put others in their community first.
Councillor Mick Warren, chair of the environment and communities committee, said: "We have been overwhelmed by the gestures of goodwill and the strength of community spirit right across the borough, and this support continues to flourish.
"Volunteering isn't something new – we know that volunteers were serving our society long before the pandemic hit, but this year community involvement has reached new levels, with commitment to helping others reaching an incredible scale.
"We have received many letters and emails of thanks for the support that our volunteers have provided, and the number of volunteers continuing to offer their assistance in the community is astounding. A huge thank you to each and every volunteer in Cheshire East.
"As we move towards brighter times, we expect the types of support required to change, as many of our vulnerable people will need ongoing support as they start to integrate back into society and lead their lives as they did before the pandemic."
The contribution of volunteers has continued to have a huge positive impact on Cheshire East, with not only individuals benefiting from their involvement, but the environment and local employers, with volunteers adding value in a broad range of sectors offering a wide range of skills.
To find out more about our People Helping People scheme, or to sign up to become a volunteer in this continuing scheme, click here.
There are further opportunities to volunteer across different council services and local organisations, which can be found here :