We're delighted that VSNS has been awarded a Lieutenancy Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of the critical role the staff and volunteers have played in supporting local communities during the COVID pandemic.
We exist to support voluntary organisations, and during the pandemic quickly adapted to support residents and assist the council and health partners with a wide range of initiatives, including:
- Supporting the management and oversight of the vaccination centres
- Setting up services where there were gaps, e.g. shopping services/prescription deliveries
- Supporting a massive volunteer programme and signposting to key areas of need
- Providing key community insights for local authorities
When the pandemic began, VSNS were able to coordinate the offers of help and introduce the technology needed to manage large numbers of volunteers. The organisation is continuing work to recruit volunteers for six vaccination centres in Surrey to help with covid and flu vaccines. Since January, 1400 volunteers have marshalled at North Surrey vaccine centres for more than 70,000 hours.
It has been a difficult couple of years and the end is not yet in sight. But amidst all the negatives, we have seen the best of people coming together to do what is needed in their communities, to help each other. The voluntary and community sector was a natural place to go for many people, with much of the coordination and support led by local infrastructure organisations such as VSNS.
Chief Officer for North West Surrey Health & Care Alliance, Jack Wagstaff, said: “Thank you, your swift action and continued support with the recruitment of volunteers has saved lives.”
Leader of Spelthorne Borough Council, Cllr Lawrence Nichols, said: “I would like to thank Voluntary Support North Surrey for all the fantastic work they have done to help keep communities safe and well during the pandemic, and everything they continue to do. So many people have become interested in volunteering since the pandemic began and VSNS has done a brilliant job coordinating those offers of help, supporting our vaccinations centres and identifying areas of need.”