By Trustee, Annie Waddington-Feather.
As a proud recipient of the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, and in celebration of Volunteers Week 2021 we’re raising a round of applause for our team of 60 plus volunteers; all have worked tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to make it ‘business as usual’ and support some of our society’s most vulnerable.
Through the work of our dedicated volunteers, we were able to adapt our services so we could continue to provide a lifeline for those in our community who need it during these unprecedented times
Our outreach team have been braving all weathers to check on rough sleepers by offering support, hot drinks, toiletries, advice and importantly, ensuring everyone knows how to access our services. They have also ensured those who have moved into their own accommodation were safe and well, and are fully supported as they adjust to living in their own home. Between December and April our outreach team received 37 new referrals and supported 24 individuals into accommodation.
While our current location has its restrictions, we’re proud to have been able to continue our day-centre services safely and in line with government guidelines throughout the pandemic. Our day centre, where we offer basic living facilities to our clients including hot showers, laundry, internet, hot meals, warm clothes, currently operates on a ‘two in two out’ basis to ensure everyone’s safety. Even with these restrictions in place, we’ve been able to help 58 individuals in April alone to access the Ark’s day centre, with 48 GP appointments in the same month for those who needed them.
The volunteers in our shop have worked hard to ensure donated items are correctly managed and the shop adheres to government guidelines so people can enter and shop safely.
Volunteers Week 2021 – a time to say thank you
In the spirit of Volunteers Week, we’re thanking all volunteers for the crucial work they do all over the UK. Each and every volunteer role makes a difference to the lives of real people, changing them for the better one step at a time.
“Volunteering is an act of heroism on a grand scale. And it matters profoundly. It does more than help people beat the odds; it changes the odds.” – William J. Clinton.
We are also giving a special shout out to following local organisations for contributing to our Volunteers Week 2021 ‘appreciation and thank you’ pack:
Bonbonniere: beautifully crafted handmade chocolate
Black Box café: the newly opened café in the Market Hall takes you on a roving lunch adventure with its world food safari.
Riverside Cabins: boutique self-catering cabins and lodges with hot tubs in the heart of scenic Shropshire
Volunteering and Shrewsbury Ark
Volunteers are at the very heart of what we do – a charity run by a board of volunteer Trustees and whose services are provided through the crucial work of a community of dedicated volunteers.
There is huge variety of roles that volunteers can get involved with; from the day centre to the outreach team, coordinating activities such as football, gardening in our allotment and creative exercises for vulnerable people, to support roles by telephone and assisting in our charity shop.
In the worlds of Karen Russell, Pulitzer Prize winning author, we believe: “it is a special kind of homelessness to be evicted from your dreams.”
In many cases homelessness is preventable but, in every case, it can be ended.
If you would like to volunteer for us at Shrewsbury Ark don’t hesitate to get in touch! You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone us via 01743 363305 to register an interest.
Volunteers; Emily and Vue, receiving their thank you packs yesterday, from staff members Cherry and Sophie.