Community champions the length and breadth of North Yorkshire have been doing their bit to help others during the coronavirus pandemic.
During volunteers’ week in June we celebrated the selfless acts of kindness that have made a huge difference to the lives of people in North Yorkshire, including some of the county’s most vulnerable residents since the outbreak of Covid-19.
We’ve been working alongside 23 community organisations to match those without family, friends or neighbours to support from the voluntary sector.
As a result, more than 1,500 volunteers have been helping thousands of people every week with shopping, collecting prescriptions or just having someone to talk to as part of this network of community support organisations. There are also countless examples of neighbours looking out for each other and an army of volunteers who have formed groups where they live.
Those volunteers include Mick Hawes. He runs a football team in Sherburn, the members of which pooled their subs together to pay for hampers for those less fortunate than themselves.
Such was the success – the team raised more than £1,000 in a single day – that they were asked to get involved with the Sherburn Coronavirus Aid Group, helping with deliveries and leaflet drops.
“I think we kind of get tied up with the negative stuff that goes on in the world,” Mick said. “We forget that there are some wonderful folk and when the chips are down people are willing to roll up their sleeves. We’ve had a wonderful response and some of the offers of support and the lengths of people have gone to have been nothing short of remarkable.”
North Yorkshire County Council Leader Cllr Carl Les said: “We want to thank every single person who is helping someone in North Yorkshire during the current pandemic.
“If you are volunteering as part of the community support organisation network, you’re at the heart of our response in making sure that nobody is left without essential supplies.
“We are also recognising those in towns and villages across the county who have set up groups where they live and individuals who have looked out for and supported neighbours during these challenging times.
“You might not consider yourself a volunteer, but you’re making a huge difference and you are a valued part of Team North Yorkshire as we work together to make sure nobody feels alone.”