Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering. This year, because of the coronavirus situation, many organisations have taken the difficult decision not to go ahead with all the things they would usually do for Volunteers’ Week.
We still need to recognise those amazing volunteers so let’s get creative!
So what could you do for your volunteers even if you can’t meet them physically? We all have some fabulous volunteers and the coronavirus pandemic is a stressful, and isolating time for many of us, affecting not just our physical, but also our mental health and wellbeing. Volunteers are no different, particularly if they are currently supporting with the pandemic, supporting communities and isolated, vulnerable individuals.
- Ring your volunteers to check in with them and say a personal thank you if you can, or perhaps you would prefer something more interactive. Why not set up a Zoom call to your volunteers? If you have lots of volunteers you may need to do several sessions, but they are worth it aren’t they?
- Add some fun to your online chat and organise a virtual morning coffee or afternoon tea party, suggesting they join in with a cuppa and of course a piece of cake! Have a relaxed chat and you can then see for yourself how they are and if they are coping with the social isolation. It may be that some of them need a little one-to-one support from you, or you may need to signpost them to a local group who could offer shopping or meds collection, or some telephone befriending.
- Post them a thank you card or certificate to say you appreciate them.
- Or you could send them an e-thank you card to recognise their contribution. Eileen from the Volunteer Centre has created two different designs [one to recognise Covid volunteering and another generic thank you card], which she is happy to customise for your organisation. Just contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org with your logo and organisation name, and she can send the personalised e-card back as a picture or PDF file.