All volunteers are heroes – donating their time to another person or cause because they have a passion. But what makes a TCV Hero?
At The Conservation Volunteers, we’re grateful for each person who comes out, rain or shine, to their local green space to help improve or maintain it. We’re grateful for those who support others in their group, perhaps with practical tasks, to teach someone something new, or to just sit with a cup of tea and talk with each other to alleviate their anxiety. Our volunteers feel connected to their community and want to see local people benefit from their conservation efforts. They care for the environment and know that their spare hours spent planting trees or creating homes for wildlife will benefit us all.
That’s what makes a TCV Hero. Every year, we celebrate all of our volunteers with the TCV Hero Awards and turn the spotlight on a chosen few who were nominated by staff as winners. We love to use this opportunity to showcase what TCV volunteers achieve: for their own health and wellbeing or learning and skills, and for their community and the environment.
Because of COVID-19, we haven’t been able to hold the event we usually do, but we’re still celebrating! Many of our volunteers haven’t been able to come out with us since March but they may have years of volunteering behind them that deserves recognition. While our activities had stopped, we heard stories of volunteers helping their local community with food deliveries or cheering up children in their neighbouring streets.
We were also impressed by the volunteers who took the lead upon return to volunteering with getting sites back up and running and ensuring the sessions are COVID-secure. Our volunteers cared for others during this difficult time or they may have focused on their own health and their family’s – and they all deserve the Hero title.
Many of our sessions have resumed with safety procedures in place and aligned with government guidance. We know that lockdown had an effect on our volunteers, with 32% of those surveyed reporting a decrease in their mental health and 72% a decrease in their social connectedness. In time, as more sites and projects open, we can get more of our heroes back to volunteering.
It’s the heroes who support charities like ours that mean this is possible. Without you, we wouldn’t be here for our volunteers to make a difference to their lives, their communities, or the environment.
Thank you for playing People’s Postcode Lottery. Thank you for being our heroes.
We’re celebrating all of our volunteers this week, so keep an eye out on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram on Thursday 3rd December at midday for who will be crowned the People’s Postcode Lottery Volunteer of the Year at the virtual TCV Hero Awards.