Volunteers Week to thank district's unsung heroes

South Kesteven District Council is supporting this year's Volunteers Week (1-7 June) by thanking all those working to help others during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The council wants to recognise everyone whose voluntary work has proved so invaluable. Certificates of thanks, signed by SKDC Leader Cllr Kelham Cooke, will be sent to more than 50 volunteer groups.

The groups, all registered with SKDC's Community Hub, have around 1,500 volunteers between them. Many are newly-formed and are working together to tackle local issues. Their work ranges from picking up shopping for vulnerable residents to providing a friendly phone call service for those who may be isolated or lonely.

Cllr Cooke said: "Volunteers are among the true unsung heroes within our communities. They willingly and freely give their time to help others, despite often having very busy lives themselves.

"Volunteers Week has added significance this year because of how people have stepped up to support the vulnerable, and each other, as we face the challenges of lockdown and the Coronavirus. We have some amazing people in South Kesteven working tirelessly for others and we should all be proud of the vital role they are playing."

Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Annie Mason, said there had been an amazing grassroots community response to help meet the unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic.

She said: "The overwhelming response demonstrates that when the going gets tough, our communities come together to support each other.

"Volunteers are the lifeblood of our communities and it is more important than ever that we unite and look out for each other.  Volunteers Week is a great opportunity to simply say thank-you to our local heroes."
SKDC will use the nationally recognised event to turn the spotlight on local volunteering groups with a social media campaign to recognise their achievements.

It is keen to inspire others to volunteer and is working alongside agencies, including the Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service (LCVS), to ensure that current restrictions do not prevent a strong show of appreciation and support.

Angela Dobson, from Lincolnshire and Community Voluntary Service, said increased online support and guidance for volunteer groups was available.

She said: "We have seen volunteers give their time, knowledge and skills selflessly to help others and to bring communities together. We are not able to hold our normal Volunteers Week events but are determined not to let that stop us letting these incredible people know how valuable they are."