Rotary's plea for East Midlands volunteers to help communities during Covid-19 crisis and beyond

Rotarians packing boxes ready for distribution to food banks. Photo by Alyce Henson.Rotarians packing boxes ready for distribution to food banks. Photo by Alyce Henson.
Rotarians packing boxes ready for distribution to food banks. Photo by Alyce Henson. | Other 3rd Party
People are being urged to volunteer their services to help those in need during Covid-19 lockdown and beyond.

Rotarians in the East Midlands have been stocking food banks, donating supermarket gift cards, making and distributing vital PPE, providing free school meals, transporting books to care homes, collecting prescriptions and shopping for the vulnerable and elderly during the pandemic.

Amanda Watkin, general secretary for Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland said “Lockdown has given many of us the time we lacked beforehand to step forward and help out. With many people on furlough leave for the foreseeable future, for some, there has never been a better time to volunteer.”

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The nation’s volunteering spirit was already evident before lockdown. Research conducted by Rotary International just before the pandemic shows more than half of those living in the East Midlands (61%) believe we should be more productive in our spare time and 35% would like to spend more time helping others.

In addition, 52% of those questioned said that as well as allowing them to help others, volunteering benefited their own mental health and wellbeing.

People questioned, who already volunteered, said it made them feel fulfilled (41%), productive (36%) and happy (35%).

Rotary believes that while the coronavirus crisis has brought out people’s altruistic side and many have given their time during the pandemic, it warns that more challenges lie ahead and volunteering is not just for lockdown.

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Volunteers will have a vital role to play moving forward to help and support those most in need. The damage to the economy and the inevitable impact on employment, along with spiralling issues around mental health and loneliness after the prolonged lack of physical contact with friends and family means many will rely heavily on charity and wider support services.

With the demands on support services set to increase in the months to come Rotary is urging those that can, to step forward and get involved.

Rotary is open to anyone aged 18 and upwards. All that is required is a positive attitude and a sense of adventure.

To find your local Rotary Club or to volunteer your time visit www.rotarygbi.org.