Woman and girl using tablet computer to say thank you to volunteers

Time to say thank you!

Published : 04/05/20 | Categories: Volunteering,

Thank you to the thousands of volunteers that have given their time over the last twelve months to causes they care about and in response to the emergency situations that people have been faced with.

Every year, there is a special week earmarked to thank volunteers for all that they bring to their local communities, and this year, Volunteers’ Week, feels more important than ever. The national week runs from the 1 – 7 June and WCVA, alongside our CVC partners will be providing resources and ideas to help organisations that involve volunteers to say thank you.

We recognise that the organisations that typically join in with this campaign may be facing difficult times and that many volunteers may not be currently engaging in volunteering in the way they typically do. With this in mind, we have created a Volunteer’s Week campaign pack that enables you to say thank you in the way that best fits your organisation and volunteering circumstances. The volunteers that contributed before this crisis and the organisations that supported them along the way both deserve a big thank you.

In the voluntary response to coronavirus, communities, neighbours and individuals stepped up in informal and formal ways to shop and deliver food parcels, to collect and deliver items from pharmacies,  to provide dog walking services and being there, providing welfare check ins and wellbeing chats to those that need them. Volunteers have raised vital funds for voluntary organisations, through a range of fundraising activities and helped share messages of public health information across social media sites.

Before coronavirus, volunteers supported people affected by the severe flooding, rescuing people from their homes, providing emergency support packages and as part of the clean-up operation.

Volunteers have come together in Wales, and across the UK in compassionate, creative and meaningful ways when individuals and communities have needed them most.To recognise this as part of national Volunteers’ Week we’ve adapted our usual celebrations to take into account the circumstances we are all facing at this time. We would therefore like to encourage you to demonstrate your gratitude and thanks in any way that you can.

One of the things we will be doing, is extending the national #ClapforCarers to include a #ClapforVolunteers on Thursday 4th June at 8pm. Please inform your volunteers, staff, supporters and funders and invite them to join us as we clap even louder and harder, to say thank you to the volunteers that are supporting with the impact of coronavirus. Let your volunteers know, that Wales will also be clapping for them.

Other ideas for the ways you could get involved are included in the Volunteers Week campaign pack (available on WCVA’s Volunteering pages) and are listed below.

  • Email Volunteers’ Week certificates to your volunteers (you can download a certificate template here)
  • Write personalised thank you e-cards for your volunteers and get them sent by someone that your volunteers most value (this could be the people the volunteers help or one of the trustees).
  • Find a way to say thank you publicly, for example by gaining support from your local councillor and / or a special message on social media (there are template celebrity and political figure invitations available here)
  • Host an online (recorded / live streamed) event to say thank you to the volunteers in your organisation. Please see the item in our campaign pack with some information on how to do this.
  • Follow the #VolunteersWeek hashtag to see what others are doing and help spread the word

The week is also a fantastic opportunity to highlight the benefits of volunteering and what your organisation can offer to other people looking to volunteer. Think about how your approach to thanking your past and current volunteers could help you attract new ones.

You could

  • Encourage all volunteers to bring a guest to your virtual volunteer celebration event
  • Hold a virtual volunteer information session for prospective volunteers
  • Ask your volunteers to share their volunteering story online to inspire others
  • Actively promote your opportunities’ online space (your local Volunteer Centre may be able to help you with this)
  • Ensure your volunteering opportunities are up to date on the National Volunteering database volunteering-wales.net (we expect an increase in visitors in and around Volunteers’ Week)

Whatever you decide to do this year, even if you decide that you are not able to do anything, thank you for supporting volunteers and enabling them to use their skills and experiences to enhance the Wales we live in.

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