The Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt, today gave thanks to the brilliant, kind people from all backgrounds throughout Wales who are volunteering to help communities face lockdown together.

“Wales has a strong tradition of people helping one another out, and we’ve really seen this in action over the last year. From picking up the phone, to delivering supplies to people who are self-isolating, to helping our public services, volunteers and community groups have found lots of creative ways to help. By volunteering safety, this helps local communities, and takes pressure off the NHS.

I want to say thank you – you are fantastic.

If you’d like to volunteer or offer support, it’s important that you keep yourself and others safe. In particular, Welsh Government guidance is that you should avoid sharing a car with another person outside your household, even if you’re trying to help someone get to a vaccination appointment.

hat’s because it would be difficult to keep to the rules and maintain physical distancing. If you come within 2 metres of others, you should avoid physical contact, try to face away from other and keep the time you spend within 2 metres of others as short as possible.

Please follow the advice below, and stay safe.”

Ruth Marks, Chief Executive Officer of Wales Council for Voluntary Action, said:

“Volunteering efforts both formally and informally have made a huge difference to individuals and communities in Wales since the beginning of the pandemic. This type of support enables people to self-isolate where needed, and to stay connected. Now, with the infection rate at its highest, it has never been more important to ensure that support is carried out safely.

If you are able to support others, it is important to check guidance on how to do this safely. It is also worth considering the many ways to volunteer from your own home, for example by checking in on others by phone or video call to reduce isolation and loneliness.

To find out more on how to help others safely, and to register for volunteering opportunities, visit Volunteering-Wales.net.”

Ann Woods, Chief Officer of Flintshire Local Voluntary Council, said:

“The County Voluntary Council Network, working with WCVA, plays a massive role in linking support offered by volunteers to those who are in need of a helping hand. We are here to advise voluntary and community groups regarding their governance, their fundraising and their volunteer management practice.

In Flintshire we have provided training and support for many newly formed community groups who have helped with the Covid-19 response.

Our message is that all volunteers should follow the current Welsh government guidelines. Community groups/volunteers who have any questions about how to volunteer safely within their local community can contact their local Voluntary Council via Home – Third Sector Support Wales.”

View the press release on the Welsh Government Website.