All volunteers are heroes - donating their time to another person or cause because they have a passion.
The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) is grateful for each person who comes out, rain or shine, to their local green space to help improve or maintain it.
The charity is thankful to those who support others in its group, perhaps with practical tasks, to teach someone something new, or to just sit with a cup of tea and talk with each other to alleviate their anxiety. TCV volunteers feel connected to their community and want to see local people benefit from their conservation efforts. They care for the environment and know that their spare hours spent planting trees or creating homes for wildlife will benefit us all.
That's what makes a TCV Hero. Every year, TCV celebrates all of its volunteers with the TCV Hero Awards, turning the spotlight on a chosen few who were nominated by staff as winners. It loves to use this opportunity to showcase what TCV volunteers achieve for their own health and wellbeing or learning and skills, and for their community and the environment.
Because of COVID-19, TCV hasn't been able to hold the event it usually does, but it's still celebrating the work of its volunteers. Many of its volunteers haven't been able to go out with the charity since March, but they may have years of volunteering behind them that deserves recognition. While activities had stopped during lockdown, TCV heard stories of volunteers helping their local community with food deliveries, or cheering up children in their neighbouring streets.
TCV was also impressed by the volunteers who took the lead upon their return to volunteering in getting sites back up and running and ensuring the sessions are COVID-secure. Its volunteers cared for others during this difficult time. They may also have focused on their own health and their family's welfare. They all deserve the title of hero.
Many of TCV's sessions have resumed with safety procedures in place and aligned with government guidance. TCV knows that lockdown had an effect on its volunteers, with 32% of those surveyed reporting a decrease in their mental health and 72% a decrease in their social connectedness. In time, as more sites and projects open, TCV can get more of its heroes back volunteering.
It's the heroes, like our players, who support charities like TCV that mean this is possible. Without this help, it wouldn't be here for its volunteers who make a difference to lives, communities, or the environment.