Covid-19 volunteers make Bridgend county borough one of the ‘best in Wales’

New figures show Bridgend county borough has among the highest number of volunteers in Wales who have signed up to help those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

In total,1,553 volunteers registered with the Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations (BAVO) between March 1 and May 21.

Volunteers have been used to befriend and check on the welfare of residents, go shopping for those who need it, take patients home from hospital, collect prescriptions and help out in community kitchens and foodbanks.

According to a new report by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), Cardiff has seen the highest number of residents in Wales sign up at just over 5,000 with Swansea next with almost 2,500 residents registering. Bridgend county borough was sixth in Wales.

BAVO’s chief executive Heidi Bennett said:

“We have been overwhelmed by the response from residents in Bridgend county borough. I cannot begin to describe how inspired we are by the kindness people have shown in wanting to help those in need during this difficult time.

“The figures for Bridgend include people that have registered for any volunteer opportunity available on our system, including those to do with Covid-19.

“Because the response has been so great, we filled many of the volunteer vacancies very quickly, so there are still plenty of volunteers that we haven’t yet been able to use.  As lockdown eases over time and volunteers return to work or their daily activities, we hope many of the remaining volunteers can step in.

We will be in contact with volunteers who have registered as the need arises.”

BAVO is the county voluntary council for Bridgend county borough and serves as an umbrella organisation for local charities, community and voluntary groups.

The Leader, Cllr Huw David, said:

“What an incredible response from our residents who have been determined to help where they can and in so doing, play a vital role in their communities and make Bridgend county borough one of the best areas in Wales for volunteering.

“As a local authority we have been able to call on them and be sure of their support, we are very grateful to them all and to BAVO which has done a fantastic job of overseeing it all.”

Powys was third in Wales with 2,078 signing up to volunteer, Newport was fourth, with 1,788 residents registering to be a volunteer, and Rhondda Cynon Taf was fifth with 1,628 people signing up to volunteer.