Posted: 28/05/21 by Age UK Northamptonshire
For Age UK Northamptonshire, the annual Volunteers’ Week, which this year runs 1st – 7th June, is a time to say thank you for the contribution that hundreds of people make across the county through volunteering.
When the March 2020 lockdown closed schools and offices many volunteers had to stop what they were doing and stay at home. Some volunteers were able to find alternatives such as volunteering for local charity Age UK Northamptonshire, which was providing emergency support to older people who needed help during the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic has seen dramatic changes in the number of people volunteering to help their local community. Many volunteers had to shield and were no longer able to help in charity shops, for example. Others, like Monique, found that they were suddenly available and had plenty of spare time to help.
Monique Kochuijt says “I have always been passionate about helping others in whichever way I can, but the coronavirus crisis caused quite a few activities I participated in to be suspended. I did not hesitate to sign up to be a telephone befriender for Age UK Northamptonshire.”
Monique has also been volunteering at the Northamptonshire Covid Vaccination Centre in Moulton Park since February 2021 and says “We Age UK Northamptonshire volunteers welcome, we smile, we talk and help where needed. It is just nice to be part of something that hopefully brings us a step closer to normality.”
Gail Perrins says the events of the past year encouraged her to volunteer for Age UK Northamptonshire as a handyperson. “The timing is right for me now, and as an engineer with a background in the automotive industry I find it really satisfying fixing things. I am new to the charity and can’t wait to get out and help older people in their home.”
Age UK Northamptonshire’s Chief Executive Chris Duff said “This last year has been catastrophic for many older people. Our work to support our clients has been stopped and started and we have faced a great deal of uncertainty and disruption. I would like to say a huge thank you to all our volunteers, especially those who remained
active and helped in whatever way they could. The help they have given to older people in their community is hugely appreciated.”
Age UK Northamptonshire has just over 300 volunteers providing support and making a difference to older people throughout Northamptonshire. Find out more about volunteering for Age UK Northamptonshire by visiting their website at www.ageuknorthants.org.uk or call the charity on 01604 611200