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Thousands thanked as council marks Volunteers Week

People in Swansea are this week being urged to recognise and thank the thousands of volunteers who give-up their time to make the city a better place for everyone.

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Volunteers are central to many valued services run by Swansea Council and its partners and the council is celebrating their contribution as part of national Volunteers' Week.

The coronavirus pandemic has seen almost 2,400 people step-forward as community champions in all areas of Swansea to help ensure vulnerable and isolated neighbours have someone to call on for essential food shopping, collecting prescriptions, to have a friendly voice on the other end of a phone and much more besides; alongside more than 1,200 who signed up to help through Swansea Council for Voluntary Service (SCVS).

But the council is also recognising those who volunteer all-year-around to keep community centres running, provide activities, play and sports opportunities for young people, support cultural venues, events, the Friends of Parks groups in Swansea, and the hundreds of charities and voluntary groups in the county.

Swansea Council has always worked closely with SCVS but at the start of the pandemic the two organisations quickly joined forces to help ensure a coordinated response to the crisis.

SCVS Director, Amanda Carr said: "The partnership has worked really well, meaning we were able to quickly develop roles to meet needs that have arisen during the pandemic.

"Volunteers have supported prescription deliveries, food delivery and preparation, provided emotional support and so much more; and as the situation and community needs continue to change, we've been able to work together and make sure that no one is left behind.

"Our hope for the future is that this experience will encourage people who have had their first taste of volunteering to join the thousands of people in Swansea who give their time all year round.

"A huge thank you goes out from us to everyone who has helped so far, and everyone who has ever taken part in volunteering. You make such a positive difference to people's lives."

Councillor Andrew Stevens, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Better Communities, said: "I would personally like to say a massive thank-you to all our volunteers in Swansea, both those who support our services, but equally those who volunteer with the many other groups and organisations.

"Many people have stepped up support their neighbours in the last few difficult months and many are permanent volunteers who play such a valuable presence in our communities all year around.

"There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has brought a renewed strength and neighbourly spirit to our communities.

"These are heart-breaking times but it would be wonderful if as we emerge from this pandemic people looked to continue volunteering and to support their communities in the many ways that volunteers already do."

Volunteers' Week is a UK wide and annual festival of volunteering which takes place from 1-7 June every year.

Find out more at https://www.scvs.org.uk/

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