WCVA’s Volunteering team walk you through the approach to Volunteers’ Week 2021.
Volunteers have always been the lifeblood of our communities in Wales, with 1 in 3* people typically volunteering at any one time. Volunteering in Wales has been particularly visible in 2020, as people from all ages, stages and backgrounds have stepped forward to offer their time to others, whether that’s by supporting those affected by devasting weather events, the pandemic or volunteering to campaign on issues that affect the environment or society.
Even more unique to this year were the ways in which people contributed. School children wrote letters to nursing homes, individuals who were no longer able to do face to face volunteering took to the internet and phone lines to provide much needed companionship and hundreds of people volunteered to support the efficient running of vaccine centres across the nation.
These individuals give their time freely and it’s important to recognise the contribution that volunteers make. This is why we are keen to encourage communities as well as voluntary, public and private organisations to come together to say the biggest ever thank you to volunteers across the length and breadth of Wales during Volunteers’ Week 2021.
WHAT IS VOLUNTEERS’ WEEK?
National Volunteer’s Week is an annual UK wide celebration of volunteers taking place each year between 1 – 7 June. This year marks 37 years of recognising volunteers during this special week in June.
The overarching theme agreed by UK partners for Volunteers’ Week 2021 will be ‘Time to Say Thanks’.
Tuesday 1 June – Volunteers’ Week launch
Wednesday 2 June – Youth volunteering (in partnership with the #iwill campaign #PowerofYouth day)
Thursday 3 June – Employer supported and skilled volunteers.
Friday 4 June – To be confirmed.
Sunday 6 June – The Big Lunch
Monday 7 June – Volunteers’ Week in review
In addition, this year, there will be a national campaign that recognises June as a #MonthofCommunity – acknowledging the many community focused campaigns that are celebrated that month.
WHAT IS THE #MONTHOFCOMMUNITY?
In the month of June, after kicking off with Volunteers’ Week, which ends with The Big Lunch (5 – 6 June), there are several other community focused campaigns, such as Small Charity Week (14 – 19 June), Refugee Week (14 – 20 June) and National Picnic Week (19 – 27 June), amongst others. The Eden Project, in collaboration with UK partners are encouraging individuals, communities and organisations across the UK to connect with one another, however they feel most comfortable (and in line with government guidance) to recognise and celebrate the #MonthofCommunity.
BEYOND THE THANK YOU
Volunteers’ Week is also a chance to highlight the variety of volunteer roles and activities, showing ways in which people can get involved as volunteers in their local communities, which can be supportive for volunteer involving organisations that are seeking to recruit.
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?
WCVA in partnership with Third Sector Support Wales and volunteering network members will be producing a bilingual campaign pack that will be launched on 4 May 2021.
You will be encouraged to say ‘thank you’ to volunteers during the week, in the ways that make the most sense to you.
- If you are a community leader, you may organise a local online event to say thank you to local volunteers.
- Schools, colleagues, universities and workplaces could shine a spotlight on students or staff who volunteer and inspire others to get involved.
- Volunteer-involving organisations may hold a (online or in person, depending on government guidelines) thank you event for their existing volunteers. (It could even be a taster event to show others what volunteer roles are on offer)
- Businesses could highlight the value of volunteering to their employees and customers, sharing stories of what has been done by volunteers to make a difference in their own communities.
Whatever you decide to do, we’d love to hear from you and would love to give as much recognition for volunteers as possible across social media platforms, so please get involved and use the hashtag #VolunteersWeek and #WythnosGwirfoddolwyr
To get in touch, to discuss ideas, connect with other organisations or share your plans, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org