Recognising the contribution of volunteers to communities during coronavirus
This Volunteers’ Week we are encouraging everyone to take the time to say thank you to all volunteers! During an exceptionally difficult year, people from all walks of life around the UK have taken the time to volunteer and made a huge difference to people and their communities – just as they do every year.
Despite the restrictions coronavirus has placed on our daily lives, volunteers and charities have been active through lockdowns and new waves of restrictions to support people, their communities and local environments.
We want to recognise all of those who have continued delivering vital work as volunteers over the past 12 months but also all those who usually volunteer but have not been able to because of the pandemic.
Volunteers are always working at the heart of every UK community. They are behind many of the services we all rely on. Some are now volunteering online from home, others in person with a local charity or organisation. Their crucial work has not stopped, despite the uncertain times we find ourselves in, and will continue as an important part of the nation’s recovery.
The contribution of volunteers is often unseen and unrecognised by many, visible only through the incredible impact of their volunteering. However, the coronavirus pandemic has rightly raised the profile of volunteering and more people than ever are aware of the immense contribution being made every single day by Britain’s volunteers. That is why, on this 37th annual #VolunteersWeek and during the #MonthofCommunity, it’s time to say: thank you volunteers!
Each day of Volunteers’ Week 2021 will focus on a different theme of volunteering to ensure we recognise the impact that different types of volunteering have played in communities across the UK in the last 12 months. Each day is a chance to take the time to say thank you to volunteers across the UK. These themes are a guide so you have flexibility to choose when you recognise your volunteers however it is a great opportunity to include your recognition as a part of UK campaign.
Tuesday 1 June: Volunteers’ Week Launch – A Time To Say Thanks Join the first day of Volunteers’ Week 2021 online. It’s time to share #VolunteersWeek to celebrate the start of the week and help us trend worldwide again. This year has highlighted the vital role volunteers play across the UK and we want to make sure everyone is aware that this is a week to recognise their impact, think about volunteering ourselves and plan to support volunteering in the future. Share your own story about volunteering during a pandemic over the past 12 months, inspire others to get involved in volunteering, or say thank you to an amazing volunteer you know using #VolunteersWeek!
Wednesday 2 June: The Power of Youth – #iwill Campaign Young people have a huge impact in their communities. Today – in partnership with the #iWill Campaign – we will focus on the role of youth volunteering in the daily lives of individuals and communities, not only during the pandemic. We will showcase that young people are not just the leaders of tomorrow, they are leading changing now in communities all over the country. Let’s recognise the #PowerOfYouth to creative positive change through volunteering!
Thursday 3 June: Employer Supported & Skilled Volunteering Each day people from across the UK use their professional skills and knowledge to make a difference through volunteering. Many employers also support their staff to give back to their communities through volunteering and businesses provide vital support to the work of the voluntary sector. Today we want to recognise the continued contributions of skilled and employer supported volunteers by showcasing their impact around the UK.
Friday 4 June: Home Nation Priorities This year, people across the UK have come together and volunteered to support communities during a challenging time. It’s something that volunteers do year in, year out. However, the past year has in many ways been unlike any other. Our national bodies and partners have never been prouder of the kindness and motivation displayed by volunteers. We must ensure that we continue to provide them with the support they need to continue their vital work after the pandemic.
Saturday 5 June: Environment & Conservation (World Environment Day) To coincide with World Environment Day, we are focusing on all the environmental volunteering that takes place every day. This year the UK is hosting the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow – it is a crucial time to recognise the impact of volunteering on environmental and conservation initiatives and to call for urgent action to protect our shared planet!
Sunday 6 June: The Big Lunch (Eden Project Communities) What better way to celebrate the impact volunteers have in their communities than The Big Lunch! This weekend is the UK’s annual get together for neighbours and communities. You can join in online, on your doorstep, in a park, or over the fence. This is your chance to celebrate community connections, recognise fellow volunteers, and talk to others about your experience volunteering.
Monday 7 June: Volunteers’ Week Close – A Time To Say Thanks Share your pictures of how you have celebrated during the week! Let’s look back on another fantastic week and let’s say a huge thank you to all those incredible volunteers and celebrate volunteering in all its diversity.
Volunteers’ Week Resources
We know many people use the Volunteers’ Week website www.volunteersweek.org for ideas and resources to recognise volunteers, not just 1 – 7 June, but throughout the year. The website will still be accessible with all the usual resources and ideas for those organisations that are still going ahead with their own activities. Click here to download the ‘A Time To Say Thanks’ logo.
Further information and support
We would love to hear your stories about volunteering and the positive impact on volunteering within your organisations. Please contact Jane with your stories: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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