Volunteer plea - 'make a resolution to help Suffolk fight back from Covid'

Helping Felixstowe Junior Parkrun is just one of the many roles for volunteers in Suffolk

Helping Felixstowe Junior Parkrun is just one of the many roles for volunteers in Suffolk - Credit: Brian Barnard

Make a New Year's resolution to volunteer. That's the call from Community Action Suffolk (CAS).

The charity is asking people to tackle the shortage of volunteers in Suffolk by giving up their time.

It is currently advertising 470 individual volunteer opportunities across the county to help communities recover from Covid-19, as well as help vaccinate the population. 

Chris Abraham, chief executive of CAS, said the pandemic has had a big impact on volunteering.

"We have seen a real shortage of volunteers in recent months for many reasons," she said.

‘But at the same time, charities, community groups and our health and care sectors have seen demand for service and support rise considerably.

"Volunteers are an essential part of a thriving community, and there couldn’t be a better time to make a New Year’s resolution to help out in your local area.

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"No matter how small a part people can play, it will undoubtedly make a huge difference to people’s lives in Suffolk."

Samuel Perry taking part in Felixstowe Junior Parkrun. Volunteers make a big contribution to the popular event. 

Samuel Perry taking part in Felixstowe Junior Parkrun. Volunteers make a big contribution to the popular event. - Credit: Brian Barnard

Liz Clark, director of Felixstowe Junior Parkrun, said volunteers had made a dramatic difference to their weekly sessions.

‘It’s thanks to volunteers that we can hold a safe, inclusive junior parkrun,’ she said.

‘We have to have a minimum number of marshals, and we couldn’t do that without volunteers.’"

With Covid and the arrival of the Omicron variant, volunteering at vaccination clinics is another vital role.

Chris, a vaccination steward volunteer, said: ‘I’m able to make a difference outside, so healthcare professionals can get on with their important jobs of vaccinating the population. In my small way, I can really make an impact."

Volunteering not only benefits charities and communities, but also the volunteers themselves.

Morgan Scott-Chantry, one of the Suffolk Mentoring Team at Volunteering Matters

Morgan Scott-Chantry, one of the Suffolk Mentoring Team at Volunteering Matters - Credit: Community Action Suffolk

Morgan Scott-Chantry, part of the Suffolk Mentoring Team at Volunteering Matters, found his job as a result of the skills he gained from volunteering.

‘There are so many reasons to start volunteering. Volunteer today to make a difference in society and be the person that answers the call to help in the community," he said.

Visit the Volunteer Suffolk website to find a volunteer role to suit you.

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