Looking to the future
Across the UK, people have stepped forward in all kinds of volunteering roles, in unprecedented numbers, to face the challenge posed by the impact of coronavirus. Many more have stood ready to help but have not been called upon so far. What has been seen in the UK has been true for our town too, with huge numbers answering the call.
The first stages of the outbreak are now behind us and for many life will be returning to something like it was before the pandemic. Work continues to support those for whom this is not the case, but we are now starting to look forward to the longer-term impacts of the outbreak and onwards towards recovery.
Relaunch of website
With this in mind, in consultation with partner organisations, we have decided to relaunch our volunteering matching service website. When the pandemic struck we made the decision to suspend the service and focus on the immediate response needs. We are now relaunching it, with a handful of opportunities from organisations who had been advertising for volunteers before the outbreak.
These opportunities are not specifically related to the coronavirus outbreak and are not designed to be addressing immediate individual needs. However, each is likely to have a significant role to play when we as a community start to address the longer-term impact of the outbreak on employment, educational disruption, mental and physical wellbeing and social isolation.
Week by week we will be adding opportunities as organisations start to reestablish their preexisting services as well as developing new ones. You can view the opportunities via the website and you will find contact details for the organisations seeking volunteers within the listing.
Please be patient!
Please keep in mind that the way in which recruitment, training and support happens is likely to be adapted over the coming weeks and months to ensure compliance with social distancing and other guidelines to combat the spread of the virus. In some cases, the actual role itself may be significantly amended.
Please also keep in mind that some organisations will have been, and will continue to be, focusing on activities in response to the immediate impact of the virus. For some, promoting these opportunities will be a first step in planning for the reestablishment of their previous activities which in many cases will be more vital than ever. Response times to enquiries about volunteering may be slower than normal – please be patient and wait for the organisations to let you what the next steps will be.
RVA will also be re-establishing our volunteering advice service, providing one-to-one appointments via video or telephone call with one of our team, giving you the opportunity to explore opportunities to get involved and to identify the roles that might be right for you. More details will be given in the next edition of Team Reading News.
We will face many challenges in the coming weeks, months and years as the wider impact of the outbreak start to be felt. However, such disruption is also likely to provide opportunities to look afresh at the world around us and explore new ways of coming together as a community to achieve our common goals. It is my hope that out of this dark period we can build a lasting legacy of volunteering and social action throughout the wider community.