Community Spirit Shines Through the Pandemic

Members of Central Bedfordshire Council unanimously supported a motion of appreciation for volunteers and voluntary organisations across the area, at a meeting of the full Council on Thursday night.

Dozens of neighbourhood groups, as well as more established voluntary and community organisations, have been crucial in helping residents through the challenges of the pandemic and particularly those who are the most vulnerable.

The following motion was put to Council by Cllr Adam Zerny, Leader of the Independent Network at Central Bedfordshire Council and was unanimously supported:
“This Council wishes to express, publicly, its deep gratitude to Community Voluntary Service Bedfordshire, Community Action Bedfordshire, Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity and the dozens of other volunteering organisations and neighbourhood groups around Central Bedfordshire which made such an incredible effort during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Without the knowledge, determination and sheer hard work of these groups it is likely many more people would have experienced hardship and severe ill health.”

Cllr Adam Zerny proposed the motion of thanks, “I brought the motion as I wanted these invaluable services provided, and the organisations involved, to be made a matter of public record.

“I expressed particular thanks to groups like Community Voluntary Service Bedfordshire, Community Action Bedfordshire and Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity which work right across Central Beds and supported thousands of people on behalf of CBC. Their staff and volunteers went way beyond the call of duty to provide vital support to members of the public. Without them I just don't know how this Council would have coped.
For more information on these three, visit Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity CVS Bedfordshire and Community Action Bedfordshire

Cllr Tracey Stock, Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Communities said: “One of the really great things about Central Bedfordshire is how brilliantly local people get involved in their communities. This is not a new thing, but during the pandemic, it has been truly spectacular to see how many people have created local support groups, joined existing networks such as the Good Neighbour Schemes or simply taken personal action in checking in with people in their areas to see if they needed help.

“As a council, we are deeply proud of the efforts that people have made and enormously grateful to everyone who has been involved.  Unanimously, we salute you!”

To support community action during the pandemic, the council has launched a special COVID-19 grant scheme. Local voluntary and community groups who want to do more to support those who have been adversely affected by the virus can apply for funds via their local Central Bedfordshire Councillor.

The council is also celebrating volunteering across the whole of the Central Bedfordshire through its annual awards scheme. The Cheering Volunteering awards are devoted to recognising and applauding the efforts of volunteers across the area. This year a special COVID-19 award has been created and nominations are invited for individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to support their communities, and particularly vulnerable residents through the pandemic. The closing date for nominations is 20 November and details are available on the council’s website.