Volunteers’ Week 2021 Launched!
Charities urge everyone to take the time to say thanks to volunteers.
With less than one month to go until Volunteers’ Week 2021, taking place 1-7 June, charities around the UK are encouraged to take the time to say thank you to all volunteers.
Volunteers’ Week is an annual campaign, entering its 37th year, which sees charities, voluntary groups, social organisations, and volunteers themselves come together to recognise the incredible impact that volunteering has in UK communities.
This year’s theme is ‘A time to say thanks’ – recognising that during an exceptionally difficult year due to the coronavirus pandemic, 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 every day – just as they do every year.
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. This will include themes such as youth volunteering, employer supported volunteering and environmental volunteering. Each day is a chance to take the time to say thank you to volunteers across the UK – and the coordinators are calling for all charities and volunteers to get involved.
Every year hundreds of events, both online and in-person, take place to celebrate Volunteers’ Week and the huge range of ways in which volunteers give their time. This year will be no different. A wide variety of activities will be happening across the country including The Big Lunch. This moveable feast is an opportunity for volunteers to come together online at their doorstep or in a park, guidelines permitting, to celebrate community connections and share volunteering experiences. You can find out more about how to get involved and get resources to plan your own thank-you on the Volunteers’ Week website as well as Volunteer Now’s Volunteers’ Week page.
In communities, the pandemic response has seen volunteers coming together to support wherever they can – this can be seen in the over 750,000 people who signed up in just four days as NHS volunteers. Nationally, volunteering contributes positively to the UK economy, estimated at £18.2 billion – or almost 1% of GDP – in 2017-18.
Denise Hayward, Chief Executive at Volunteer Now, said:
“Volunteers Week 2021 is a great opportunity to say ‘Thank You’ to all of those existing and new volunteers who have supported the covid response throughout the year. We also want to thank all of those volunteers who are patiently waiting to get back to their face-to-face roles and those who have stopped and started throughout the year in line with the government guidance. As we move through the recovery plan, I hope that we will all be able to safely, embrace volunteering within the new environment to continue to support people and the causes we care about.”
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said:
“I am delighted to add my voice of appreciation to all volunteers for the positive impact they have in our communities and the passion and commitment they offer.
“The willingness of people to step up and give their time freely to support their community has been a critical part of the strength of our response to the COVID crisis. My Department will continue to provide practical support for volunteering as we move into recovery and will continue to be a champion for the value of volunteering across our society.”
Volunteers’ Week is taking place during the #MonthOfCommunity. Running throughout June, the #MonthOfCommunity brings together some great organisations with a range of events including Volunteers’ Week, The Big Lunch and Small Charity Week, and culminates in Thank You Day on 4 July. This collaborative month aims to encourage everyone to think about and join in with the wide variety of positive activities and initiatives happening in local communities across the UK.