As Volunteers Week 2020 gets underway, Council Leader Willie Innes is thanking the many individuals and groups who make such a valuable volunteering contribution, in a wide variety of ways.
“Volunteers Week 2020 is an opportunity to celebrate and say thank you for the contribution of those who participate in volunteering. From helping others to protecting and enhancing the environment, volunteering can make a real difference.
“In East Lothian, where we have a strong community spirit, with volunteers having a positive and significant impact over many years.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the efforts of the many hard-working individuals and groups throughout our communities have been particularly noticeable and valuable. As a result of the current emergency, it is more important than ever for us to recognise our volunteers.
“It is, of course, a worrying time for many of us. But I have been greatly heartened by the extent to which so many individuals have stepped up to participate in our local Resilient Communities groups.
“Through a combination of enthusiasm, commitment, knowledge and expertise, people have rallied to help and support others, including some of the most vulnerable people in East Lothian.
“In every corner of our county, there have been examples of people pulling together and helping others. From collecting and delivering essential shopping and medicine, preparing meals or just making regular phone calls to relieve loneliness, there are many examples of ways in which volunteers have helped to provide some ‘normality’ in a period which is unlike anything we’ve experienced before.
“Volunteers of all different generations have been supporting and undertaking a wide range of practical tasks including shopping, creating and delivering newsletters, and dog walking. I know that some groups have built up as many as 200 members – which is hugely impressive.
“In East Lothian, Area Partnership, Community Council and Resilient Communities groups and networks have been developed over many years. These have connected and brought communities and the council closer together. It highlights the significance and value of preparation and collaboration.
“The Resilient Communities groups are made up of volunteers from many walks of life who are committed to helping their local community. The council works closely with them to support their volunteer efforts in towns and villages with resources, information and guidance.
“There are of course many other groups, clubs and societies covering a variety of subjects and interests who, week in week out, carry out the most fantastic work and demonstrate real pride in the place they call home and beyond. We are proud of you.
“I am keen that we continue to build on this excellent work and, regardless of what the future holds, ensure that volunteers continue to be supported in helping us ensure East Lothian continues to be a great place in which to live.”