Volunteers in West Lindsey – and around the country – will become the centre of attention this week as we mark Volunteers Week 2021.
From 1st-7th June, the annual awareness week offers an opportunity for us all to recognise the fantastic contribution volunteers have on our communities, in particular now more than ever in the global climate.
Throughout the week, we will be speaking to different volunteers and organisations within our District and sharing their stories, as our way of saying thank you to all they have done and continue to do for our communities.
Reflecting on the week, Chairman of the Council, Cllr Steve England, has taken the opportunity to express how grateful he is for all the work volunteers continue to do in our district.
He said: “This week represents an opportunity for us all to say thank you to the many, many individuals and groups who have dedicated their time – and continue to do so – to help everyone around them, motivated by nothing more than sheer selflessness and kindness.
“We should always be grateful by the work that volunteers do – and that is why I am hugely enthusiastic about using this week as another opportunity to say how grateful I am for everything that volunteers within our community do. This year in particular has shown the importance of individuals volunteering to help others, and from everybody at West Lindsey District Council, I want to express how grateful we all are.
“Last year, I had the pleasure of meeting many volunteers during the presentations of the Community Awards. Many of the stories I heard and learnt then were truly inspiring, and I look forward to hearing and reading many more throughout this next week.”
The act of volunteering is to choose to do something for the benefit of others, your community, or for your environment, without being paid to do it. There are many organisations within the district who would always appreciate individuals dedicating their time where they can.
To find out more – including learning more about Volunteers Week 2021 – visit the Volunteers Week website
Q&A Case Study: Dorothy Russell – One of over 40 Clinical & Admin Volunteers at the Imp Healthcare Vaccination Hub (Part of the Lincolnshire Showground):
Why did you want to get involved with this campaign?
“I felt that it was such an important thing – vaccines are the only thing that are going to get us back to a normal life – and the NHS was going to need help. People had to get involved – they couldn’t do it without volunteers I didn’t think. I just wanted to do my part and help get things going really. I wanted to do something positive and useful.”
When did you start volunteering at the centre?
“I was actually there on the first day of issuing vaccinations (as part of Imp Healthcare) – the 16th January. It was a very emotional day. There was a lot of apprehension – was this going to work? Have we got everything we need in place? At the end of the (first) day, when it had all gone so smoothly, everyone was absolutely delighted. I’ve never had so many people say thank you to me in all my life.”
What does the volunteering involve?
“There are three areas that we (volunteers) work in. The car park, the reception area – where volunteers take those with appointments to the desk where paid staff are working and then to one of the vaccination stations to wait for their turn, and make sure everyone stays 2m apart.
“Where I worked all the time was the other end – after the vaccine people have to wait 15 minutes to make sure they don’t have any effects. My job was to make sure people were okay, to talk to them and let them know if they start to feel sick or dizzy to shout and I will be there. Then, at the end of the 15 minutes, let them leave, open the door for them and sanitise the seats. Those are the areas volunteers work in.”
What has been your personal highlight whilst volunteering?
“All the smiles you get – you can even see them through the masks. You can tell people are happy and that’s what has been really good. It’s that feeling of feeling useful – feeling like you are doing something that is making a difference. Without having any medical skills – we are still making a difference by being there.”
How rewarding would you say volunteering can be?
“Very rewarding. Whatever it is that you choose to do, it’s positive for the people you are doing it for and for you. There is a lot of satisfaction in doing something like this – and when this is all over, I am sure I will find something else to do!”