In my little town of 15,000, we had 300+ volunteers who supported over 1500 people. Many of the volunteers expressed a sense of fulfilment and belonging and wanted to take that feeling forward.
As we eventually get beyond the pandemic, towns will face many challenges in the future that are best met by local knowledge. The breadth and depth of our volunteers knowledge and experience could stand towns in good stead to plan for and respond to events and challenges such as snow, flood, climate change, shortcomings in statutory services, backup to civil and health services. in our town, we had several younger volunteers as well, some of whom won British Citizen Youth Awards and we are still getting offers of help from the local school. This community spirit really can be utilised in the future if it is helped with structure and organisation. It is knowledgeable, responsive, compassionate and can cross all social, age, gender, race and other boundaries. It can be part of people’s journey through life from primary school up to retirement and do a lot of good to help the problems society will face long after the pandemic is gone.