Giving something back to the community

Henry has been playing his part in the response to coronavirus (COVID-19) by giving up the vast majority of his free time to volunteer for a number of different organisations.

Even though he has a full-time job in engineering, Henry has still found the time to volunteer three-times-a-week for the Port Grocery in Ellesmere Port, collecting and delivering food to those in need.

Like nearly 1,000 other volunteers, he was signposted by Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA) through the online form set up by Cheshire West and Chester Council as part of the coordinated community response.

Henry has also taken part in befriending calls through the NHS Volunteer Responders initiative, helped walk a guide dog for a vulnerable man, and picked up a couple of prescriptions.

Although he has volunteered during his travels in the past, COVID-19 has prompted Henry take up volunteering for the first time in a while.

He said: “The best part is having that sense of helping the community. 

“The volunteering can be quite varied, but I particularly enjoy checking in and chatting with people rather than simply dropping things off. That makes you feel like you’re making a difference.

“When I volunteer at the Port Grocery, the amount of people there from different backgrounds is brilliant to see.

“There’s such a great community feel to it. When we get through this, I hope people continue to support their communities.

“I think COVID-19 has perhaps highlighted people who are usually lonely and need support in normal circumstances.

“My fiancé and I – sadly, we had to postpone our wedding until next year – walk a guide dog and we’ll definitely carry on doing that after COVID-19.

“There are plenty of ways you can volunteer even from your own home so I’d definitely encourage other people to get involved where they can.”

Volunteers Week (1-7 June) is an opportunity to celebrate and thank volunteers for the important role they play in their communities.

How you can get involved

Inspire Cheshire West gives you the opportunity to share your stories about how you’ve supported your community.

You can also share your volunteering stories on your own social media accounts. Make sure you use #VolunteersWeek and download the Volunteers Week artwork the Council and CWVA have developed.

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