The 37th annual Volunteers’ Week is a time to say ‘thank you’ for the contribution that millions of people make across the UK through volunteering. Join us this year to recognise small grassroots organisations as well as larger, household-name charities. Volunteers have played a key role in the pandemic response – but Volunteers’ Week also recognises those who were volunteers before and will go on.
Word from the Cabinet
Cllr Donatus Anyanwu, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for the Voluntary sector and Leisure, said: “Volunteers’ Week is the UK’s official time to say a big, public ‘thank you’ to all the people in Lambeth who use whatever time they can find in helping the community they live in. If you have volunteered as a provider, as a fundraiser, to deliver food or medicines or friendship, you have made lives better – thank you.”
Lambeth Council foodhubs opened last March in response to Covid and since then hundreds of volunteers have got involved in sorting, packing, food deliveries and more. Four volunteers from St Matthews’ Estate who had already supported the community as sports coaches moved on to volunteering at the foodhub, giving something more back to the community. Hub organisers were so impressed with their hard work, good humour and dedication that all four were offered paid jobs supporting the distribution of food and the rollout of the vaccination and testing programmes. Permanent and pop-up foodbanks are still being supported with Team Lambeth volunteers.
Lambeth Forum Network
Lambeth’s network of 12 community forums runs almost entirely on volunteer power. The forums logged nearly 20,000 volunteer hours last year – local meetings to find out what residents are interested in or concerned about. They create local events and get-togethers and organise all sorts of help for community groups such as ‘Dragon’s Dens’ and networking, join in street markets, public realm improvements, campaign for services and funding and advocate on behalf of local residents. Find out more about the LFN.
Volunteering app onHand have opportunities for volunteers to help vulnerable and isolated people in Lambeth each week, including companionship phone calls, dog walking and shop drops. Download their app (described as ‘the Uber for help’) on Google Play Store /App Store and complete an ID and DBS check – then you’re ready to pick up missions.
More than 1,800 Lambeth residents volunteer across the borough, doing all sorts of activities including marshalling Covid vaccination clinics and testing students, collecting and delivering food, supporting the elderly and vulnerable with cooking and shopping, mentoring young people facing extra challenges when schools closed, or just being ‘virtual’ company for residents who are lonely or isolated. Some volunteers offer professional skills, others prefer make personal connections.
There’s no bad time to volunteer but right now, local people need all sorts of extra help and support. If you’d like to register to volunteer, once your ID is checked, you’ll receive weekly newsletters of opportunities you can sign up for.
Find out more about Volunteers Week