Volunteer’s Week 2020 took place from the 1-7 June, and due to Covid-19 restrictions activities and campaigns were delivered online all over Wales. Korina Tsioni gives us her summary of the week’s events and how the sector adapted.
Throughout the year, volunteers offer their skills, energy, experience and time to support communities and to help its vulnerable individuals, animals and the planet.
This year we have even more reasons to thank and celebrate our volunteers, as their priceless contributions during lockdown, have been instant, generous and vital for communities who struggled, during a challenging and dark time.
The Volunteers’ Week Takeover
Here in WCVA Volunteering team we organised and delivered a week of online activities to say ‘Thanks’! Our volunteers Emma Morgan and Iris Van Brunschot ran a successful social media campaign throughout the week, by taking over our social media accounts: @VolWales on Twitter and @Volunteering Wales on Facebook. Feel free to click and catch up with all the fresh and interesting content.
Emma and Iris interacted with the wider sector, asked and responded to questions, uploaded information relevant to each theme of the day and inspired WCVA members of staff and Trustees to take part in the #ivolunteer campaign on Thursday the 4th of June.
Emma said about the experience: ‘Taking over Volunteering Wales social media was a really fun way to connect with the volunteering community! Everybody is so lovely and to have the chance to encourage everyone and create engagement across the week was fab.’
Iris added: ‘The takeover campaign exposed me to a world of love and appreciation, it made me realise that there are so many hard-working, engaged volunteers out there supporting their communities. Thank you to all of you who welcomed us onto the platform, those five days of heartfelt gratitude flew by.’
Making a bigger difference together
The celebrations got off to a flying start with some lovely video messages from our Chair Peter Davies and our President Michael Sheen thanking volunteers who’ve stepped up through the crisis.
We had inspiring discussions with our colleagues and experts among the volunteering teams of County Voluntary Councils (CVCs) and with our national volunteering networks across the country, whose input, experience and knowledge are invaluable as always.
Some of the many highlights of the week were case studies and posts from volunteers all over Wales sharing their stories. You can read a brilliant example here, written by Karon, a volunteer at Torfaen Voluntary Alliance.
Another beautiful story was about Ben, who returned to Swansea University in the autumn term to find himself alone in his shared house, with no plans, structure, classes, or human contact. You can read his full story coming out soon on our website.
Last but not least, please view a story from Volunteers on Skomer Island, who decided to isolate on the island, look after it and set a webcam to capture wild nature moments for us to watch from the comfort of our own home.
It is #WorldEnvironmentDay Rhian is spending it, as the only Volunteer, on Skomer Island!
Rhian arrived on Skomer before lockdown started. Her role is a bit different than she expected as there are no visitors. Thank you @WTSWW volunteers#VolunteersWeek2020 pic.twitter.com/wGsltCLQEU
— Volunteering Pembs (@VolPembs) June 5, 2020
Hanging out with puffins looks fun!
‘Hey! Whatcha doing?’ pic.twitter.com/iK9qeV3mJZ
— Skomer Island (@skomer_island) June 6, 2020
Thanks to our colleague Louise Wilkinson at Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services (PAVS) for all her contributions during Volunteer’s week. We loved the jigsaw puzzle too! Feel free to give it a go.
Our work as champions and enablers of volunteering in Wales does not stop here. Volunteering is not just something to be celebrated as part of Volunteers’ Week, but to be nurtured throughout the year. As part of Third Sector Support Wales, we offer a range of resources to volunteering involving organisations and volunteers.
Volunteers or those looking to volunteer can visit the Volunteering Wales website.
Volunteering involving organisations looking for guidance or resources can visit the WCVA website.
A project particularly helpful to organisations who want to take a fresh look at how they engage volunteers is Investing in Volunteers (IiV). Read about Cardiff Women’s Aid (a recent achiever of IiV), who have written about their work and tips on how to keep your service quality high amid a pandemic crisis.
For any questions, ideas or thoughts about Volunteer’s Week or Investing in Volunteers please contact:
@volwales on Twitter