Neath Port Talbot Council is using Volunteers’ Week 2020 to pay tribute to the army of people who are giving up their time to help others especially during the coronavirus crisis.
The Council is thanking all the volunteers across the county borough who have worked on the front-line in the battle against coronavirus to support people in their communities. This includes those who volunteer with community organisations, housing associations, town and community councils and local food banks.
At the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the council made an appeal to residents asking them to volunteer as part of the NPT Safe and Well service. The service was set up to ensure those who are shielding or self-isolating are able to access support with daily living tasks if they have nobody to call on for help.
Councillor Doreen Jones, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Equality, said: “Many people across the communities of Neath Port Talbot have found themselves shielding or self-isolating as the coronavirus spread across our communities. Whilst many of those had friends or family to help, others have benefited from the support of the thousands of volunteers who have been looking out for their neighbours.
“Some 600 volunteers have registered with the Council’s NPT Safe and Well service so far, helping to deliver food and medicines and to run other daily errands to over a thousand residents. I would like to thank each and every one of those volunteers and the fantastic staff in the Council who have also pulled out all the stops to make this happen. I would also like to thank all of the Covid-19 community groups that have formed right across the county borough - the community spirit that is being demonstrated is absolutely fantastic.
“Thanks also to Age Connects, Age Concern, Canolfan Maerdy, RADAR, Care and Repair, Tai Tarian, Pobl Group, Coastal Housing and NPTCVS for helping to make sure that everyone who needs support is getting it.”
Many staff across the Council have also volunteered themselves to be redeployed to critical frontline services.
Mark Fisher, Chair of the Joint Trade Unions, said: “The staff working at the food distribution centre deserve full praise for the meaningful work they are undertaking during these challenging times. They are doing a remarkable job and I am very impressed by their efforts.
Mark has also been volunteering at NPT Safe and Well’s food distribution centre by helping to arrange emergency food parcels for those who have no other way of accessing essential supplies.
Mark added: “I am proud to volunteer and play my small part in helping out at the food distribution centre.
“It is inspiring to see so many people working hard to support communities across Neath Port Talbot.
“I ask everyone at this difficult time to help in any way they can. Volunteering is so rewarding and I recommend others to join myself by volunteering for the NPT Safe and Well service.”
The Mayor of Neath Port Talbot, Councillor Scott Jones, also delivered a video message thanking volunteers for their efforts. The video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDLKQzwXWeM
To contact the NPT Safe and Well service, call 01639 686868 (8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday). For further information, visit www.npt.gov.uk/safeandwell .