Volunteers’ Week – a perfect time to say thank you

Published Wednesday, 3 June 2020

During National Volunteering Week, 1-7 June, Bromley Council is taking the opportunity to say a huge thank you to all volunteers for stepping up when they were most needed to help vulnerable residents in the community. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been overwhelming and Bromley Council has recruited more than 4,300 volunteers to help.

Bromley has in excess of 11,000 residents shielding – those who have been staying indoors due to being at greater risk from coronavirus. The Council has been in contact with these people to check they are getting the help they need from central government, with volunteers supplementing where necessary.

Volunteers have also been matched with residents who have contacted the Council directly through the website or the assistance line. They have been providing help with shopping and collecting prescription medicines, as well as walking dogs, running post errands and, in some cases, simply providing a friendly phone call to help reduce feelings of loneliness. Though volunteers are limited to a friendly few words from a distance at the doorstop and a chat on the phone, many new friendships have been formed over the past months.

The Council has received complimentary messages about its scheme from volunteers and residents alike. Volunteers say the system is well organised and they are very happy to help. Residents report that ‘the programme is a very positive thing, with one describing their volunteer as ‘lovely.’ Others judge the scheme as very ‘useful and beneficial’ and believe ‘it would be good to keep it going even after all this is over.'

Councillor Diane Smith, Executive Councillor for Adult Care and Health said:  “We know from our volunteers how rewarding they have found it to offer help when people really need it. Many people who have had to shield do not see or speak to anyone during the day so having a visitor, albeit briefly, and a chat on the phone has been a real boost to many, as have the vital deliveries made by these amazing volunteers.

“We are fortunate to have such wonderful people in our borough and I extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has come forward - we greatly appreciate your kind offers of help and hope we can continue to support our communities through volunteering long after the Covid-19 emergency subsides.”

Bromley Council is working closely with Community Links Bromley, who run the volunteering hub on behalf of the Council, to consider how it can extend its volunteer programme and will continue to engage with communities about this. Residents wanting to find out about some of the exciting Voluntary and Community Sector projects in Bromley, or other ways they can help once the pandemic is over, can find out more by visiting Bromley Community Links’ website at

https://www.communitylinksbromley.org.uk/volunteer/

Further information about Covid-19 and Bromley Council services is at: www.bromley.gov.uk/covid-19

ends

  • For media enquiries, please contact Susie Clark , Communications Executive, on 020 8461 7911 or email susie.clark@bromley.gov.uk