Call for volunteers

Bucks residents are being asked to sign up as volunteers to help support local people and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Buckinghamshire Volunteer Matching Service, (run by Community Impact Bucks linked with Buckinghamshire Council and The Clare Foundation), matches registered volunteers to roles where they are most needed in the county.

It is seeking volunteers from across the county but in particular for volunteers from the High Wycombe, Missendens and Chesham areas.

In spring 2020, more than 1,800 people from Buckinghamshire signed up to volunteer via the Buckinghamshire Council’s website to support local communities during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the recovery period and any local outbreaks that may arise.

Many of this initial cohort of volunteers have now been matched with charities and voluntary organisations, while others are now no longer available. As a result, its is looking for new volunteers to step forward to support COVID-19 response activities.

Katie Higginson, Chief Executive of Community Impact Bucks, said: ‘It has been amazing to see so many people offer their time and skills to help others during the pandemic, and it was great to see this incredible voluntary effort recognised in the Queens’s Birthday Honours, where nearly three quarters of recipients were awarded for their work in the their community, including several Bucks residents.

‘Building on this, we now need more volunteers to be available to fill key roles – from ad hoc, one-off tasks such as PPE delivery to longer term positions like regular supermarket collections, mentoring young people and providing ongoing support for vulnerable people.

‘If you are 18 or over, and have some time or specific skills to offer, we would love to hear from you.’

Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health, said: ‘We have a strong tradition of volunteering in Buckinghamshire and we know people find it a very rewarding experience.

‘People who were able to give their time to support vulnerable residents during the lockdown earlier in the year found new skills and ways to fill their days in very fulfilling ways.

‘We are seeing a steep increase in the rates of coronavirus currently and want to be prepared if we need to again step up to support our most vulnerable residents. Please do consider whether you could give any of your time.’

Frances [name withheld] was matched with the Wycombe Food Hub and currently volunteers two days a week there. She said: ‘The whole food hub is run by volunteers and we make a huge difference to our customers, some of whom have literally nothing to put on the table.

‘There’s no bureaucracy, no barriers, no discrimination – the food hub is open to anyone who needs to find food. I love volunteering there – I go in feeling great and come away feeling even better.”

Info:
To find out more about the Volunteer Matching Service, visit the Volunteer Matching Service information page and easily register as a volunteer via the Volunteer Matching Service registration form.

To read about the experiences of several Volunteer Matching Service volunteers including Frances, go to the case studies webpage and watch a video.

Pictured:
A Bucks volunteer.

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