From food banks….to pharmacy pick ups, supermarket shops to a friendly ear on the end of phone – Calderdale has seen a huge volunteer response to the COVID -19 pandemic. In the strained and dark days of late March 2020 the bright light of human kindness shone through quickly as people all over Calderdale grouped together (in a socially distanced way!) via social media, telephone and email to plan how they could help those more vulnerable cope, stay safe and be happy during lockdown.
Of course Calderdale is no stranger to the power of volunteers and their good deeds – seeing both their power in the face of crisis’s such as flooding as well as recognising their brilliance and priceless role in making our communities brighter, nicer and more healthier places to live.
A huge body of research shows how valuable volunteering is for health and wellbeing. Recent studies in Calderdale have highlighted how people volunteering during the COVID pandemic have been more protected from some of its worst effects – reporting greater connections with family and friends and a greater sense of neighbourliness. Statistics show that people in Calderdale are 140% more likely to have been volunteering throughout the pandemic than people elsewhere in the UK.
North Halifax Partnership saw people in its own communities going the extra mile to take care of those around them – a favourite story being the gift of spare loo roll to those in need! NHP’s Staying Well Project saw the offer of time, a listening ear and a chatty voice from a huge number of volunteers help create a Telephone Befriending Scheme to support those across Calderdale.
So this Volunteers Week we want to say a huge thank you to those people giving up their own time to help others – no matter how small the role you have – whether its helping one person or one hundred – you are seen, you are valued and you help make your communities a better place to be.
If you are interested in finding ways of volunteering and reaping the benefits for yourself then get in touch with Staying Well on 01422 392708 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.