Volunteers’ Week 2021 is almost here!
Volunteers’ Week takes place between 1-7 June every year and is a time for us all to recognise and thank volunteers. During an exceptionally difficult year, people from all walks of life across Wales have taken the time to volunteer and made a huge difference to people and their communities – just as they do every year.
We’d like to take this time to recognise our very own SNAP Cymru volunteers that helped during the last 12 months and to thank those who usually volunteer but have not been able to because of the pandemic.
Volunteers are always active at the heart of every Welsh community and certainly the heart of our SNAP Cymru team. The coronavirus pandemic has rightly raised the profile of volunteering and more people than ever are aware of the immense contribution being made every single day by the volunteers. That is why, on this 37th annual #VolunteersWeek and during the the #MonthofCommunity, it’s time to say: thank you volunteers!
Of course SNAP Cymru has always recognised the significant benefit our own volunteers bring to children, families and communities across Wales. Telling our volunteers stories is a great way for us to recognise and thank them for all the fantastic things they’ve been doing and to demonstrate the different ways in which our volunteers share their different skills with us.
‘A family affair’
“I have been a supporter of SNAP Cymru since 1986, and became a volunteer on the National Executive Committee in 1996. As a teacher, SNAP validated my position with parents, so I encouraged every parent to contact them. In that way, the advice that I gave them was validated and gave the parents confidence in what the Local Authority was saying to them.
As a parent three of my four children had additional needs and SNAP Cymru was always there to support me. It was a place where I could check that my emotions were not getting the better of my judgement.
When I retired in 2012 and started volunteering every day, I saw the charity through some very difficult financial times. The Trustees worked closely with the senior Team making difficult decisions to keep as many front-line hours of parental support as possible with the leadership accepting more and more business responsibilities and staff taking on more admin. It was in 2014 that we lost our business manager leaving a gap in producing payroll that month! My son, George, one of the children who had received help from SNAP Cymru, stepped in. He learned the system and volunteered two days a month to support the team to produce payroll.
I then had to have operations and treatment for cancer, and George volunteered every day to cover the role I had taken on. From there he obtained a trainee business administrator role, through the Jobs Growth Wales scheme, working directly with the Chief Executive, and went on to become SNAP’s business administrator. When I returned to the office, I was volunteering for him!
When he moved jobs, he became a Trustee and took on the role of Treasurer where he continues to support the charity and look after its future.
SNAP Cymru is a place we both feel happy belonging to.”
“Six years ago, I come to Wales from Latvia knowing little English and feeling hopeful but a bit scared of this new life. I came to live with a family where SNAP Cymru was at the heart of their family life and quickly began to do small jobs for the charity that did not need much conversation.
When Covid overtook the country, I became part of the Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Project which provided a grant to customise learning and leisure activities for families in that area. Working from home with equipment provided by the grant I researched free printable materials on a range of subjects from football clubs to Fireman Sam and found information and activities to suit ages 1-35 years! I was putting in 4 hours a day five days a week and the project ran for 4 months. The feedback we got was fabulous and the research really improved my English. I am currently volunteering a day a week at our SNAP Cymru warehouse in Hengoed and enjoying meeting customers, I have found a lovely group of friends through volunteering for SNAP and gained skills and confidence
Volunteers are a major asset to SNAP Cymru
By contributing time, energy and talent, all our volunteers across Wales provide new skills and complement the work of our team. We would not manage the high demand for our services without the support of our amazing volunteers. We are extremely proud of them and can’t thank them enough for all their hard work.
Whatever their Volunteering role their ‘Gift of Time’ is helping toward making a difference to children, young people and families across Wales.
Something for everyone
Everyone’s reason for volunteering is unique, from meeting people to learning new skills and making a difference. Our volunteers come from all backgrounds and we have a range of roles to suit everyone.