Wendy Jones, Chief Officer from CVSC opened the above event which was timed to coincide with International Volunteer Day, designated by the United Nations in 1985, as an international observance day to celebrate the power and potential of volunteering. It also provides an opportunity for volunteer involving organisations to raise awareness of, and gain understanding for the contribution they make to their communities.
We were pleased to welcome the current High Sheriff of Clwyd Mr David Wynne-Finch to the event, who added his own thanks and recognition of the value of the community response.
Ceri Jones, Volunteering Development Officer introduced the following presentations from organisations who demonstrated how they had continued to involve their volunteers and, in many cases, repurposed to continue to deliver services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Blind Veterans took the decision before lockdown was announced to shut down their facility in Llandudno, and then looked at other ways they could utilise their volunteers.
“We had an army of volunteers whose roles with Blind Veterans UK had ceased overnight with the closure of the centre. I sent a shout out to them all to see if any would like to undertake a telephone befriending role and we now have a team of 33 volunteers calling veterans in all parts of the UK. Wherever possible we matched volunteers and members with similar interests to help build conversation and relationships over the telephone. The volunteer befriending service has enabled us to keep our centre volunteers connected and active with the charity at a time when they could not maintain their normal roles.”
Nant Conwy Rygbi Clwb members volunteered in the community to help with shopping and prescriptions. Neil who is also a member of the CVSC
Team informed us how the community pulled together providing these services.
“The first aim, was to flood the valley with information of services provided and contact information.
Services included a friendly telephone call to tackle loneliness, delivering meals on behalf of local businesses as well as shopping and collecting and delivering prescriptions.”
Due to lockdown and social distancing, Carers Wales had to re visit their volunteer roles. Dawn explained that outreach services came to a halt due to the lockdown, so they had to work very quickly in putting together a befriending service to provide support to unpaid carers and to alleviate loneliness.
Click on the link below, for more information on what Carers Wales have done (Tissue alert!)
CAIS developed three volunteering roles, volunteer packer, volunteer shopper and volunteer telephone befriender, for those who had been affected by the pandemic. CAIS then recruited volunteers specifically to carry out these roles. This has proved a very positive additional service.
CAIS also started a befriending service for their service users, in order to alleviate isolation / loneliness.
Creating Enterprise created two new volunteering roles during the lockdown to support Cartrefi Conwy Tenants with shopping, collection of prescriptions and telephone befriending. They then developed the ‘Wellbeing Volunteers’ initiative.
Richard informed us that some of their tenants would not see anyone from one week to another, therefore the services they provided with essential prescriptions / shopping and loneliness were very much appreciated by their tenants.
Creating Enterprise received Covid 19 emergency fund from Gwynt Y Môr Funding
Comments from some of the Tenants -
‘It’s good to know there’s someone there if I need them’
‘I really appreciate the calls; I like the regular contact’
Comment from a Volunteer -
‘This is a real worthwhile thing we are doing’
Crest formed a collaborative partnership with Dylan's Restaurant during the lockdown which provided food and deliveries to local hospitals and surgeries in the Conwy area.
Crest received Covid 19 emergency fund from Gwynt Y Môr Funding.
Crest’s experienced team of volunteers delivered food to 5 different NHS sites from Anglesey to Denbighshire. Crest and Dylan's Teamed up to Deliver 12,500 Meals to NHS Workers. Crest Deliver Furniture Packs for Emergency Nurses in Temporary Accommodation. Furniture packs consisted of beds, sofas, fridge freezer, washing machine, wardrobes, chest of drawers and more…
CVSC Volunteering Certificate of Gratitude was presented to all the organisations above in recognition of the contribution from their volunteers.
Delegates then had a sneak preview of an innovative source of fundraising which might be a source for developing volunteer programmes going forward -
Watch this space for the launch of Loto Lwcus on 13th January 2021!
“Just wanted to say a big thank you and well done on such an informative, timely and passionate morning. I for one, from experience, understand and am a huge advocate of the work of the 3rd sector which is second to none – having worked at Tŷ Gobaith & Hope House for the past 20 years.”
Eluned M Yaxley, Engagement Officer with Denbighshire County Council
“Thank you so much for organising the presentations today. Very much appreciated. It was good to see so many people/organisations wanting to be involved.
There has been some fantastic work done by volunteers, often unsung. So often we hear of people complaining about how unfair everything is. While they may have a point, they get the majority of the media attention, but there are those who just get on with it. Well done all.”
Paul Frost, The Outdoor Partnership
Ceri Jones, CVSC; Claire Jones CAIS & Richard Chance from Creating Enterprise put together a podcast with Simon Wynne from Bay Side Radio after the event.