Volunteer Week 2020

Posted: 01/06/2020 | Scottish War Blinded,

Volunteers' Week is held between the 1st and 7th of June every year. It is the week in which we recognise volunteers and give thanks for the fantastic contribution that they make.

For reasons no-one needs explained right now, Volunteers’ Week 2020 looks unlike any other we have had and indeed unlike our grand plans of a few short months ago. Nonetheless, it is even more important in difficult times like these to recognise and show our gratitude to volunteers for their vital support.

Photo of James Whyte, Volunteer Manager

Like so many charities now, we have had to ask most volunteers to pause their regular roles. This is because continuing as normal would put themselves, our service users, and the wider public at risk. It was revealing if a little emotional to witness volunteers’ responses to being asked to step away from their existing roles. Without exception they were supportive and agreed that it was the responsible decision, but remained concerned that their residents, pupils, and members would still receive the support they needed.  

We stand by our assertion that volunteers add a vital extra dimension to our work, and we have been responding quickly to make changes to allow them to continue doing so safely in our current situation. Right now, with lockdown and with most people using our services falling into high-risk categories in terms of COVID-19, many volunteers are taking up new and amended roles such as telephone or virtual befriending and delivery driving. 

It has been inspiring to see our volunteers adapt to change so readily, and with such humanity. I am fascinated by what we are all learning together from being forced to approach things differently, and I am confident a lot of the changes we have developed in crisis response within our volunteering programme are proving so successful that we are likely to keep them when the crisis eventually abates. 

To all our incredible volunteers, happy Volunteers’ Week and a huge thank you from everyone at Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded. Whether you are currently adjusting to an amended role or waiting patiently to come back to volunteering, please know that we have always been enormously grateful for your support. At this challenging time your support is felt and appreciated more than ever.

 

James Whyte

Volunteer Development Manager

Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded