Aberdeen celebrates Volunteers’ Week

Our last blog focused on the easing of the COVID-19 restrictions and how we are managing the changes in Aberdeen. Whilst this will remain a priority for Aberdeen City Council moving forward, we also wanted to take some time out to celebrate Volunteers’ Week, which runs until Sunday 7 June.

The week is really important as it provides us with a great opportunity to acknowledge and thank the thousands of volunteers for the contribution they make to community life throughout the year in Aberdeen.

Figures from ACVO reveal that there are around 70,500 people in the city who volunteer every year, which works out at an incredible 4.4 million hours of volunteering with an estimated impact of £67.3m to Aberdeen per annum.

Aberdeen has a wonderful tradition of volunteering and this year that commitment has taken on an added significance as a result of the current situation. 7,000 volunteers are currently assisting community responses to the pandemic, which is a fantastic and vitally important response, benefiting so many people across the city who might otherwise be facing even greater difficulties.

Volunteers’ Week also offers a chance to recognise and thank staff across Aberdeen City Council and partner organisations including the Third Sector, who supported the city’s efforts during the pandemic.

Many charities, community groups and groups of volunteers are helping those in desperate need as a result of COVID-19 by working with Aberdeen City Council and partner organisations to ensure that those in need receive the help they so desperately require.

In April alone, 5,720 food parcels were distributed by charity CFINE and partners, with more than 100 volunteers contributing over 3,000 hours to help combat hunger.

The North East Rider Volunteers Scotland (NERVS) travelled 4,360 miles between January-April, completing 403 jobs delivering medical equipment, essential items to disadvantaged families, and transporting nursing staff to and from NHS facilities.

More than 1,500 Aberdeen City Council staff volunteered to be part of the city’s response to COVID-19.  This has included attending the COVID-19 crisis line around the clock. Since its launch on 24 March a total of 14,481 calls have been made to the crisis line.

There have also been 5,100 calls made to shielded people to ensure they have all the support they need. As a result of these calls over 700 shielded people are being supported by volunteers and staff from the Third Sector, Aberdeen City Health & Social Care Partnership and Aberdeen City Council.

We are very fortunate in Aberdeen to have so many dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers to help and support those in need.  The fantastic work done by the thousands of volunteers in the city every year has never been more evident than now as we face COVID-19.

The selflessness shown by volunteers from so many different charities and the wonderful efforts by Aberdeen City Council staff working in partnership with the Aberdeen City Health & Social Care Partnership and NHS Grampian to meet the challenges of COVID-19 has been a ray of light in what has been a very dark time for many.  We would like to thank each, and every one of them for their outstanding efforts in ensuring the people of Aberdeen get the support they need.

If you would like to show your support to the thousands of volunteers in Aberdeen and the thousands of public service staff who have volunteered to support the city’s response to COVID-19, please follow Aberdeen City Council (@AberdeenCC) on Facebook and Twitter highlighting great examples of local heroes.

If you want to share information about the work taking place in your community or if you would like to nominate a local hero, please email comms@aberdeencity.gov.uk or tag your hero on social media using #abdnhero #VolunteersWeekScot #VolunteersWeek2020ABZ. Or why not download a colouring #abdnhero rainbow from the Aberdeen Together section on the council’s website and display your hero’s name in your window.

For anyone interested in volunteering, visit ACVO’s www.volunteeraberdeen.org.uk where  nearly 500 volunteering opportunities are currently available online.