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Community stepping up

Community stepping up with acts of kindness 

At our network meetings we hear about the contribution of people who give time in many different ways to support the vital work of local community organisations. Charity trustees are invaluable, their work often behind the scenes, dedicating their skills, knowledge and expertise to guide local charities through challenging times. 

Being a trustee is a rewarding role as our HADCA trustee, Ruth Newton explains: 
“Hard though it has been, the last year has taught us a lot. It has exposed the gaps such as how dependent some families are on free school meals, and how precarious some people’s income is.”

“But when they have seen gaps, ordinary people have stepped up to fill them, whether in the neighbours who went shopping for those shielding or made meals for those who were ill, the grandparents’ home schooling via zoom, the way that people gritted their teeth and got on with it and the post kept coming, and bins got emptied and the shelves got stocked, and those working in schools and hospitals went that extra mile, time and time again. We can be proud.”

“HADCA, like so many charities and churches, has been part of that process, co-ordinating the volunteers who wanted to help, providing a life-line for the elderly and those told to shield, and now, their HELP volunteers are driving people to receive their vaccines. I am proud to be a HADCA trustee.”

Winter can be a lonely time in any normal year. Covid-19 has exacerbated these feelings of loneliness and keeping local people connected has never been more important at this socially distanced time. 

Whether it’s offering a listening ear over the phone or helping someone get to their Covid-19 vaccination appointment, the amazing HELP Ripon & Rural volunteers are playing their part. As more and more people are turning to HELP, they are in need of more volunteers to meet this demand.

Ceri Naylor, HELP Ripon & Rural Services Co-ordinator said: “If you are a good listener or like to chat, we would love to welcome you as a volunteer befriender. Just an hour a week can make all the difference to someone who may be feeling particularly isolated during this pandemic.” 

As HELP plays their part in assisting the national Covid-19 vaccination programme, they are also in need of more voluntary car drivers. This will help people struggling with transport to attend their vaccination appointments and to make other essential health journeys. 

Drivers need to use their own vehicle, be in possession of a DBS check less than two years old and have no more than three penalty points on their driving licence. Volunteers are reimbursed for fuel and wear and tear on their car and trained in new Covid guidelines to ensure a safe and trusted service is offered. 

These flexible volunteering opportunities can be done at times to suit you. Please contact the HELP Ripon & Rural Team for more information by emailing or call on 01765 645902 and leave a message for someone to call you back. You can also sign up on the HADCA website  

The HADCA Volunteering Directory helps you find your ideal role if you’re looking to get involved but these roles aren’t quite what you’re looking for. If you’re more of a behind-the-scenes person, more practically or creatively minded or enjoy the outdoors there is something for you. Visit to find something to match your interests, including trustee and home based opportunities.