As Volunteers Week starts, we say thank you to the amazing volunteers in Powys including everyone who has been protecting and supporting their communities during Coronavirus (last updated 1 June 2020).
Recent weeks have once again highlighted the strong tradition of volunteering in Powys. People of all ages from across the county, including many of our own health board staff, regularly give up their own spare time away from work and family to support an individual or family in need, a local charity, service, or club. Volunteers play an integral part in all our communities, and can often be the unsung heroes, busily working away in the background.
Over the past few years, we have seen these volunteers go above and beyond what could be expected of anyone to help others in need.
The extreme weather conditions brought Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis in quick succession in February, and showed how important and vital our local volunteers are to supporting health and care services in our communities. With ongoing flooding having a major impact on our health services, again, volunteers were on hand to help our staff get through the worst hit areas to support our patients. And this week our thoughts also turn to the amazing support two years ago when flash flooding descended on Welshpool Hospital.
After the storms and flooding in February, March saw the greatest pandemic in a generation. This has affected us all, not just here in Wales, but globally. The outbreak of COVID-19, and subsequent lockdown, has had a profound and prolonged impact on our residents in towns, villages and rural communities. The most vulnerable, and those shielding, have been unable to leave their home for medication and essential goods such as groceries.
Once again, volunteers have come to the aid of others, rallied around and recruited more volunteers to support, and inspired a nation with their acts of kindness to support those most in need.
From June 1-7, it will be Volunteers’ Week 2020 and this year’s theme is ‘Time to say thank you.’ Please share your stories of volunteering, either your own personal accounts, or those of others who have inspired you using the #VolunteersWeek on social media.
I will be taking time to say ‘Thank You’ personally to volunteers across the county, and I hope you can all join me in showing appreciation for everyone who is going above and beyond to support our residents.
Once again, a sincere ‘Thank You’ to all our volunteers in Powys and across Wales. You are all truly an inspiration to us all.
Professor Vivienne Harpwood, Chair, Powys Teaching Health Board