As the Third Sector Interface for West Dunbartonshire, at WDCVS our role is to promote, support and develop volunteering and sector activity across West Dunbartonshire. Despite the current pandemic, we are still continuing to provide vital services for the community at this time. We are continuing to support volunteers, third sector organisations and provide information and training where possible while working primarily from home.

The community response throughout West Dunbartonshire has been overwhelmingly positive. Our West Dunbartonshire Cares initiative has engaged with 395 amazing volunteers throughout the locality. We also have a large number of existing, long-term volunteers who are continuing to support the community in these testing times.

Our volunteers are focused on collecting and delivering essential groceries and medicine to those in need and also reducing social isolation through befriending and wellbeing calls. WDCVS already has an existing, award-winning befriending service, meaning we were well placed to respond to those in need quickly as soon as normal life was impacted by the pandemic. In this time we have also built upon our existing partnership with the HSCP Care at Home team working with the Integrated Operations Manager Lynne McKnight to ensure community alarm clients receive calls and access to support.

At WDCVS, we have used this year’s Volunteers’ Week to highlight the efforts and stories of some of our volunteers through our social media channels (@wdcvs). This has given volunteers themselves the opportunity to share in their own words what it means to them to volunteer and contribute to their community.

As well as the community response from individual volunteers, the response from organisations- stepping up and delivering new services and continuing to deliver existing ones – has also shown community resilience in West Dunbartonshire. Since the start of the pandemic, WDCVS has been keeping residents informed of up-to-date services still operating in the region, ensuring that people can still find the support they need. We have also been supporting organisations by giving relevant information and advice to groups on matters such as funding opportunities and government advice. We distribute this both through our social media channels as well as through our targeted weekly e-bulletin.

Our efforts have built upon and adapted our existing work in order to continue to help the community in West Dunbartonshire throughout these tough times by reducing isolation, delivering essential items and supporting local groups. Above all, we have tried to spread positivity and share stories through our Volunteers’ Week campaign.

(Update provided by West Dunbartonshire CVS)