(Issued by Government of Jersey)
This week the Government, volunteer.je and Jersey Sport are celebrating National Volunteers’ Week.
This annual event is an opportunity to recognise and publicly thank all those who give their time selflessly to help a cause.
At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, a plea was issued for more volunteers to help in the community – including support for the food bank, delivering meals and helping with food shopping for the vulnerable. The response was incredible, with 2,547 more Islanders registering on Volunteer.je since 20 March.
As well as these visible roles, thousands of volunteers in Jersey work behind the scenes to allow charitable organisations and sports clubs to continue their important work. In addition, this year, the kind and selfless acts of so many Islanders outside of these formal roles is being acknowledged. From calling to check on elderly neighbours, to loaning IT equipment to families with children home schooling.
Deputy Judy Martin, Chair of the Community Steering Group set up to support vulnerable Islanders during the pandemic, said “Jersey’s community spirit is nothing short of outstanding. During a typical year, we know there are over 10,000 Islanders who regularly volunteer across a range of charities and voluntary organisations. Over recent months, the number of additional people who have come forward has made a huge difference to so many.”
Alan Le Pavoux from volunteer.je said: “We’re so grateful to all the Island’s volunteers – new and old. While many existing volunteers have had to step back from their roles for a variety of reasons, including being over 65 and having underlying health conditions. Others are still waiting for roles, yet they have all remained on the volunteer.je register ready to step in when the time is right.
“The current economic climate, resulting in a lack of charity donations from individuals and businesses, along with lost income from charitable events that have had to be cancelled, means that volunteers will play a huge part in making sure charities can keep supporting the community over the months and years ahead.
“Volunteering is known to be a rewarding, positive experience which can help boost mental wellbeing. Any amount of time you can give is of huge value and I’d urge anyone thinking about volunteering to come forward.”
Both charities needing more people, and individuals with time and skills to offer, should register at volunteer.je.