Volunteers’ Week 2020 – time to say thanks to Reading’s volunteers
Volunteers’ Week 2020 will be a strange one for RVA. The fourth annual Reading Volunteer Awards was due to take place on Tuesday 2 June. This event had become the highlight of the RVA calendar and we were so excited that this year’s party would be hosted at The Museum of English Rural life. Perhaps it will still take place in some socially-distanced fashion later in the year. NCVO, who run the Volunteers’ Week campaign, are not marking it this year. However, we still want to acknowledge the week – in a low-key way, but never more heartfelt in our appreciation of the extraordinary contribution that volunteers are making to life in Reading and throughout the country.
Charities and community groups in Reading have played a crucial part in the town’s response to coronavirus, by supporting the most vulnerable members of our communities. In generously giving their time and skills in such challenging circumstances, volunteers have made a big difference to those who are isolated and adversely affected by the pandemic.
Volunteers in Reading have ensured that food and other supplies have been sourced and distributed, groceries and prescriptions have been delivered, emotional and practical support have been given over the telephone, and that organisations have had technical assistance in the transition to home and online working. Trustees, also volunteers, are dealing with unprecedented legal, governance and employment challenges.
As restrictions ease for some, others will remain isolating at home, very much in need of the connections to their communities which volunteers are able to provide. We are hugely thankful to all the people who have signed up to Team Reading as coronavirus response volunteers, whether or not they have been matched with an opportunity yet. The response of volunteers in Reading, and across the country, has been a source of hope during this crisis, and we know that it will continue to be needed in the coming months and years.
Below you can read some volunteering stories, which we’ll be adding to over the coming weeks, as well as quotes from organisations about the amazing work their volunteers are doing.
The RVA Team, 1 June 2020
How volunteers for organisations across Reading have been contributing to the coronavirus response
RVA supporting shopping service
RVA has set up a supported shopping service for vulnerable members of our community. Read the stories of two of the volunteers for this project below.