Monmouthshire’s amazing army of volunteers have been praised once more for their work in supporting communities across the county. It comes as the annual ‘Volunteers Week 2021’ draws to a close. Volunteers have been vital in helping some of the most vulnerable residents during the pandemic and their work has continued as restrictions begin to ease.

The weeklong event, which celebrates kind and caring people, has highlighted some of the excellent work being carried out across the county. Every day, thousands of people give their time, expertise, knowledge, and commitment to the local community, doing their bit to improve the quality of life for all and to support and serve others. The list of potential opportunities to volunteer really is unlimited.

Monmouthshire’s Waste and Recycling Team have been thanking volunteers at the Llanfoist and Five Lanes reuse shops, who help to support the council’s climate emergency by encouraging people to reuse and recycle unwanted items.  

Elsewhere, children have been getting involved in keeping the county clean with litter-picking, supporting eco-systems by providing living spaces for plants and animals.   

Commenting on their volunteering, pupils from Thornwell Primary in Chepstow said:  

“I was amazed by how much plastic we gathered, most of it was in just one place and it made us feel really happy that the rest of the woods were quite tidy.”

“It’s really good for the environment to do litter picks plus we want our local area to be nice. If we don’t help out then a lot of this plastic will be blown down to the river and it will end up in the sea and that is really bad news for the animals that live there.” 

“We felt really proud that our school was doing something to help. It was lots of fun and I’d really like to do it again.” 

Road Safety Education volunteers have also been celebrating this week after being presented with certificates for completing their Safeguarding Level 1 Awareness course. Their role is vital in helping to deliver road safety education across Monmouthshire. 

Cabinet members have also been getting involved in activities like litter picking and coaching activities for young people.

Cllr Lisa Dymock, Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing and Social Justice said: “Doing your bit for the community has a huge impact. I would like to thank you all for your time, effort and commitment to our communities and know just how valued and appreciated this is. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting out and volunteering ensuring our beautiful county is kept clean and litter free. The work of volunteers from across the county is amazing – and we would like thank all those who have represented Monmouthshire.” 

Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Sara Jones, who also volunteers as a ski coach, added: “Volunteering is so important, not least for the difference it makes to others but the difference it can have on those who volunteer. I love volunteering because it means I get to spent time with fantastic children and young people every week, seeing them have fun, making friends and develop in terms of their ski-racing journey. I want to say a huge thank you to all volunteers for everything you do for our communities.”  

As the annual event draws to a close, Monmouthshire County Council is calling on others to consider volunteering. People wanting to lend their time to supporting their communities are being encouraged to sign up to the Our Monmouthshire website: ourmonmouthshire.org, which has details of many varied ways people can help without a long-term commitment. It also offers the opportunity for people to timebank all the hours they put into supporting others.