Volunteers thanked for community contributions

National Volunteers' Week saw South Kesteven District Council officially thank more than 50 groups for their community work, with dozens of local heroes nominated for their individual efforts.

All are being sent signed certificates of appreciation by the council as part of the annual event focusing on voluntary work. SKDC's social media campaign to celebrate the work of our volunteers included Facebook posts seen by more than 30,000 people with lots of support for work of our unsung heroes.

To applaud year-round volunteer effort alongside COVID-19 related groups, case studies included the Wyndham Park Forum in Grantham,  Stamford in Bloom, Feed Deeping Group and the council's own Community Hub, now with nearly 60 groups on its register.

Cllr Kelham Cooke, Leader of South Kesteven District Council, said: "Volunteers have always quietly and tirelessly worked in our communities, giving their time willingly and expecting nothing in return. The Coronavirus crisis has really shone a light on people's readiness to help those in need, and I am truly humbled by some of the stories we have heard." 

Cllr Annie Mason, SKDC Cabinet Member for Communities,  was co-signatory with Cllr Cooke on all of the certificates.

She said: "We wanted to find a way to officially recognise the work that is done by this army of unsung community heroes and we hope that these certificates convey how sincerely grateful we are for everyone's efforts."

Appeals for local heroes brought nominations for kind-hearted residents organising shopping and medicines, delivering food parcels, organising soup kitchens and even taking Sunday lunches to vulnerable people.

Others have manned 24/7 helplines, sent out daily email bulletins, and, in one case, shared information, videos and a breakdown of Government press conferences to help people understand them properly.

Neighbourhood mini-volunteers, April and Disney Price, aged six and four, who helped their dad Chris clear weeds on a busy Grantham footpath, proved to be a big hit on our Facebook page attracting lots of messages of support and thanks.

At Hough on the Hill, near Grantham, a dedicated lockdown team has been making sure that Kesteven Rideability's horses and ponies used for Riding for the Disabled sessions have remained well cared for.

In the Deepings, youth worker Cassandra Wales helped put together care packages for the elderly and then devised online Zoom sessions for children with a bake-off, quizzes, workouts, a creative writing competition and even a scavenger hunt. Cassandra delivered prizes to winners and Easter eggs to everyone who took part.

Love of Scrubs Stamford was nominated for making scrubs for care providers and the NHS and, in Bourne, bowls club members have become 'buddies', switching their talents to community volunteering and support after lockdown restrictions stopped them playing their favourite sport.

If have nominated anyone as a local hero, but not provided an address where their certificate can be sent, please contact the SK Community Hub with that information by emailing SKCommunityHub@southkesteven.gov.uk or calling 01476 406177.