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Organised by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) Volunteers’ Week takes place the first week in June every year. However, due to Covid-19 they made the difficult decision to suspend their usual activity and instead put all of their efforts into supporting volunteers take on roles relating to the response to the outbreak.

But they haven’t discouraged charities from marking the occasion, and with that in mind, here at FareShare Sussex we wanted to spend the week acknowledging our incredible team of hardworking volunteers who have been essential in our ability to accelerate our work redistributing surplus food at this crucial time.

Check us out on Facebook and Instagram all week for a glimpse into the activities going on in the warehouse. In the meantime we wanted to kick off the week by sharing some statistics on what our team have achieved over the last few months.

We are so overwhelmed and proud of the commitment and passion of FareShare Sussex volunteers. It has been a challenging time for so many reasons. With many of our volunteers classed as vulnerable, we saw 78 of our regular team go into self-isolation, which left us in desperate need of new people to come forward as demand for our service rose. So we reached out to the community, and incredibly we over 270 people came forward before we closed our application process and started sign-posting to opportunities elsewhere. In order to adhere to social distancing rules we still had to limit volunteer numbers despite us getting busier and busier.

This has meant harder work for the people on site, but this hasn’t stopped our team, who collectively have delivered 322.6 tonnes of food in just three months, enough food for a staggering 768,095 meals to vulnerable people across Sussex and Surrey. This is DOUBLE the amount of food delivered in the previous three months.

The team have responded and adapted to all of the changes we have introduced to stay safe, productive and positive during these uncertain times. One such change has been the introduction of a shift leader role which has been a game-changer for the warehouse.

One of our shift leaders is Myron Galbraith, who recently received the much-deserved Mayor’s Covid-19 Champions Award.

Myron explains that the new role “takes the pressure off the warehouse staff and it gives the volunteers a single point of contact to ask questions to.  We’ve had a lot of new volunteers start during the pandemic, so it’s been useful to have that point of contact for them.”

We can’t thank our volunteers enough for their hard work. But we will keep trying.

Watch this space to hear more about our volunteers across the week.

If you want to keep in the loop about FareShare Sussex, follow us on social media and sign up to receive our newsletter to be the first to know about new volunteering opportunities.