19 March 2020

To all our amazing volunteers,

I hope you and your loved ones are looking after yourselves and each other in these uncertain and challenging times. 

While the world seems like an ever-changing place with schools and workplaces across the country being affected, I wanted to write to you as one of our valued volunteers to reassure you and answer some of your likely questions.

We have postponed all face to face volunteering activity to keep people safe

Firstly, thank you so much for all that you do for The Children’s Society. As we continue to adapt to these rapidly changing circumstances we have taken the decision to postpone all volunteering activity that involves people coming into personal contact with others. So we ask you to refrain from any volunteering activity with others in your home or community until further notice. 

We don’t take this lightly – our volunteers are the very foundation of The Children’s Society, your support is invaluable and we know how much volunteering with us means to people in so many different ways.

However we want to do everything we can to keep everyone in our society safe and reduce the spread of the virus so we know this is the right thing to do. Please do put your health and the health of your family first, and follow the advice the government provide. If you have any questions about planned activity please speak to your volunteer manager or key contact at The Children’s Society.

There are lots of ways to still make a difference 

The Children’s Society’s volunteers and supporters are an incredible nationwide network that provides connection, solidarity and meaning within communities. This does not have to end simply because we cannot meet face to face for a while. I encourage you to continue to reach out to other volunteers and supporters you know - connect with them, support them and keep the conversation going. Discuss the issues you see young people facing as a result of the Coronavirus and what we can do about them together. 

We support you in being creative in volunteering from home should you wish. If you can still raise awareness of our work, needed more than ever now, please do so. If you volunteer directly supporting our young people you know that we are exploring ways to deliver support remotely as we speak. If you’d like to try a fundraising event from home or organise a virtual talk we’d love to support you. Talk to your volunteer manager at The Children’s Society if you have ideas you’d like to try – we are all learning new ways to make a difference to the young people who need us, day by day. Let’s learn together.

It’s vital we look after our wellbeing and that of our loved ones during this period of reduced social contact. Please visit and share our Coronavirus Covid-19 Information and Support Hub on our website which provides advice and guidance on staying well. We’ll continue to keep it updated in the weeks ahead. 

It’s also been so inspiring to see our national culture of volunteering and community spirit shine through in recent days. There are already so many local support groups and networks providing assistance to those who need it, listed on the Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK website. If you or someone you know needs help, or you think you may be able to offer help this is a good place to start.

Rest assured we will continue to be there for young people

We have been fighting for this country’s most vulnerable and marginalised young people for almost 140 years and we will continue to do so. 

What we can be sure of is that our projects remain essential to many young people and their families. With schools across the country closing, many young people will continue to experience abuse, neglect, or the effects of poverty. So whether it is working with partners, or lobbying the government to support young people in these extraordinary times, we will do absolutely everything we can for the children that need us, while they need us most.

We are providing support in ways that best fit the young people that we work with and this includes phone, online and, where safe, face to face support. We will continue to innovate and adapt as we need to. It is and will continue to be an enormous effort from every corner of the charity.

I would like to be back in touch with you in the coming weeks to tell you more about how we are supporting young people in these challenging times.

Until then please look after yourselves and your loved ones, know that The Children’s Society is here for vulnerable young people and thank you - as ever - for being part of it.

Yours,

Mark

 

Mark Russell

Chief Executive

The Children’s Society