Workers congratulated for hard work and vital support during the coronavirus pandemic. Barnsley Community and Voluntary Services (CVS) has continued to provide a wide range of assistance for charities and groups maintaining vital services for vulnerable people.
The Chief Executive of Barnsley CVS, John Marshall said: “I can only thank all the staff that have been working really hard to keep all our services on track. I’m amazed by their work and the way they work as flexible as humanly possible, they are all a credit to this organisation.”
Staff at the Barnsley Volunteer Centre continued to provide volunteer advice, helping people find volunteer opportunities with the local groups and organisations.
They helped out with several partners with their volunteer needs including the Community Responders scheme, which helped vulnerable and isolated people in the community. The Barnsley Superstars Project, which created and distribute face coverings. And an NHS Community Mental Health Project, where volunteers help with low level mental health issues in the community supported by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Barnsley CVS also help several new groups set up in the wake to the pandemic. These Mutual Aid Groups are volunteers who support the local community around Barnsley. Many delivering free food parcels to the vulnerable.
Alex Forrest founder of the community group Gift of the People said: “I wanted to bring to together people to help those who are struggling providing them with essentials. Barnsley CVS were really helpful, they really opened doors and supported us to set up as a group.
This allowed us to access grants, recruit volunteers and pay expenses. They were on hand with tips to help us run the group and their backing allowed us to grow. All of which allowed us to deliver over 28,000 items of food in 1,118 parcels.”
The organisation also played an important role in supporting the financial issues groups faced. Specialist staff provided a range of accountancy, payroll, employment and HR services to third sector groups. So far, the Community Accounting team helped:
74 groups with finance and governance advice.
33 with payroll services.
26 groups supported through the furlough scheme (CJRS Grant Claim)
24 supported with Crisis Funding applications
20 groups with bookkeeping support
Workers even went the extra mile to support those who were socially isolated due to the lockdown. Many of those on the Barnsley CVS Supported Volunteer program had no network to rely on either because of a long term health condition, poor mental health, offending background, or a learning disability.
Staff helped with their wellbeing by arranging Chatty Wednesdays Zooms, regular phone calls and a Postcard Pals project to give support for those isolated and not computer literate.
John added: “Every day, I am in awe of what the staff do, and they deserve massive credit during these incredibly difficult times. I’m sure they will continue their hard work no matter what the next few months bring.”
Barnsley CVS can offer a whole range of support for groups and people wanting to volunteer, visit www.barnsleycvs.org.uk to find out more.