People across Gloucestershire are being encouraged to say thank you to the county’s wonderful volunteers who make such a huge contribution to life in our county; this year’s Volunteers’ Week, which runs from 1 – 7 June, is the perfect opportunity to do just this.

All year round, and particularly during these challenging times, many individuals and groups are playing a major role in helping make life better for others and make Gloucestershire a better place to live.

The county’s public sector leaders would like to show their appreciation and share a collective thank you.

Mary Hutton, One Gloucestershire ICS Lead and Accountable Officer at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“The work of local volunteers is amazing and I want to thank each and every person who steps forward to offer their support. At such a difficult and uncertain time, the willingness of so many to assist some of our most vulnerable residents is truly heart-warming, and every single volunteer has made a difference.”

Volunteers have helped in a range of ways, for example, supporting people’s wellbeing or health and care needs in their home or community, helping frontline NHS and care workers in local hospitals to do their jobs and supporting their community to be better connected, more active or feel safer.

They have also helped people without transport to make essential journeys.  Every single contribution has been invaluable to life in our county, and public sector leaders are asking people to think about their own local heroes, and to consider nominating an individual and/or a voluntary/community organisation for the Gloucestershire Voluntary and Community Awards, being held this September.

Matt Lennard, Chief Officer at Gloucestershire VCS Alliance, said:

“The reaction from charities and community groups in the county has been outstanding – they have been incredibly agile, quick to redevelop services and at the forefront of supporting people in their communities.

None of this would be possible without the volunteer workforce who provide the backbone of the sector, and work tirelessly to support the most vulnerable in our communities. I think now, more than ever, the VCS sector and the volunteers that support it are being recognised for the fantastic work they do. It often goes on behind the scenes, but when a crisis like this hits, they are the first to stand up, be counted and support people that most need it.”

Chief Constable at Gloucestershire Constabulary, Rod Hansen, said:

“The efforts we see every day from volunteers in the county typifies the remarkable community spirit we have here in Gloucestershire.

There is proof in action – you can talk about it or do it – and those who have given up their time for the collective good really have done it.

In recent weeks, more than ever, volunteers have played a crucial role in helping us rise to the challenge of looking after ourselves and those who work or pass through the county and we are very proud of them.”

Cllr Kathy Williams, cabinet member for adult social care (delivery) for Gloucestershire County Council, said:

“Volunteers can come from all walks of life, and through the Gloucestershire Community Help Hub we have seen some amazing acts of kindness and charity by those determined to go the extra mile.

We’d like to say thank you to everyone who has volunteered their time or services to help people in need through this global crisis. I wholeheartedly encourage you to recognise someone who has made a difference by nominating them for the Gloucestershire Voluntary and Community Awards.”