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Mayor pays warm tribute to local volunteers ahead of Volunteers Week

28 May 2021

The Mayor of Derry and Strabane has called on people to reflect on the fantastic work being carried out by local volunteers, as Volunteers Week 2021 gets underway from June 1st – 7th.

Councillor Brian Tierney joined the Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey in acknowledging the huge contribution of volunteers to society, particularly during the Covid19 pandemic.

Speaking today, Mayor Tierney said the emergency response to Covid-19 relied heavily on the efforts of those who stepped up to offer their support when it was needed most.

"Volunteers have been absolutely critical in the response to this health crisis and hundreds of local people stepped up to support the community effort, delivering vital aid to all who needed it," he declared.

"So many people of all ages generously gave up their time to ensure essential supplies could be delivered to the vulnerable and provided a listening ear for anyone struggling with the challenges of social isolation.

"This week I would ask everyone to join me in showing appreciation for our local volunteers. I was delighted as one of my last official acts in office as Mayor, to be able to support the delivery of treat boxes to acknowledge the work of some of our deserving volunteers. I would also like to applaud the work of the NW Volunteer Centre in co-ordinating volunteering activity across the City and District. They continue to play an important role and last year alone they placed 515 new volunteers and supported 414 Covid response volunteers. Well done to the team for their dedication and their major contribution to the wider Covid response."

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said: "I am delighted to add my voice of appreciation to all volunteers for the positive impact they have in our communities and the passion and commitment they offer.

"The willingness of people to step up and give their time freely to support their community has been a critical part of the strength of our response to the Covid crisis. My Department will continue to provide practical support for volunteering as we move into recovery and will continue to be a champion for the value of volunteering across our society."

Jacqui Garnon from the North West Volunteer Centre, said that while we are taking steps back to normality volunteers are always required to help assist with a wide range of needs. She took the opportunity to pay tribute to the volunteers who made the time to help others despite the challenges faced by everyone during Covid19.

"Despite the restrictions Coronavirus has placed on our lives, volunteers and charities have been active throughout the pandemic. We know how crucial this work has been in the last year with volunteers playing such a key role in the community response.

"During an exceptionally difficult year, people from all walks of life have taken the time to volunteer and make a huge difference to their communities – just as they do every year. This is a time for us to come together and thank all volunteers for their invaluable contribution."

Find out more about volunteering opportunities at www.nwvc.co.uk or at our centre on 028 71 271 017.