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1,000 volunteers step forward to support city communities

More than 1,000 residents have pledged their support so far in a city-wide recruitment campaign to support the vulnerable during the Coronavirus crisis.

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Residents and businesses have stepped forward to volunteer services and supplies across the city.

The effort includes supporting the food bank supply network, assisting vulnerable neighbours through Local Area Coordination and Councillor networks and registering their skills and availability as volunteers for a range of organisations or activities via Swansea Council for Voluntary Services.

SCVS is working with Swansea Council and other government agencies, to recruit and match volunteers, using its extensive experience and skills in this field to assist those most in need during the pandemic.

"Running the Swansea Volunteer Centre, we already knew how generous people are in Swansea, with many already giving their time, free of charge, to the hundreds of voluntary organisations and charities offering support all year round," said Amanda Carr, SCVS Director.

"What is truly humbling is at a time when people are scared, or concerned for their own jobs, families and friends; they are still willing to step up and offer to help those who need extra support at this time."

Andrew Stevens, Cabinet Member for Better Communities at Swansea Council, said: "These are unprecedented times and call for an unprecedented response.

"It is brilliant to see so many community groups and individuals working together to demonstrate that we are here for Swansea. Our message to the most vulnerable in our communities is: 'You are not alone. Your neighbours, your community, your council and hundreds of volunteers are here for you'."

Volunteering roles available are varied, and changing each day as new needs emerge.

People can volunteer to support Local Area Coordination services, helping with activities such as shopping collection and deliveries and food distribution at local food banks.

Volunteers can help with cooking or serving meals and as drivers to maintain food centres feeding the most vulnerable. They can also take part by providing telephone support to those who are socially isolated or acting as collection and delivery drivers for services such as supporting prescription delivery.

Amanda Carr said: "We recognise that this situation isn't going to go away overnight, so by using the extensive networks across Swansea, including the local authority, health organisations, voluntary and community groups, community councils, churches and more.

"We're able to identify where there's an unmet need and start working together to close the gaps in support for people.

"That's why there isn't a list of formal roles as such, as the volunteers support is really being driven by need."

Ms Carr said: "We know that Swansea's wonderful voluntary and community sector are on the front lines during this situation, helping as many people as they can. If they haven't already, please get in touch with us to see how we can support you to continue to provide, or even expand, the excellent support you're already offering."

While many have answered the call, SCVS and Swansea Council are still encouraging people to come forward, and are also asking that any organisations who need support or additional volunteers also get in touch.

There is more information about how you can get involved by going to:  scvs.org.uk/coronavirus and swansea.gov.uk/communityvolunteers

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