This year’s Volunteering Oscars had to be cancelled in light of the coronavirus pandemic, but organisers are keen for people to take part from home and hold a toast for those who commit their lives to helping others.
Tonight, Friday, would have seen the 13th annual event welcoming more than 450 people.
But this year, with restrictions on mixing in groups larger than six and social distancing measures in place, volunteers were instead celebrated in a virtual ceremony.
Organiser John Fox said: “I was extremely disappointed that we had to cancel the Harrogate and District Volunteering Oscars this year due to Covid-19.
“So many new people had stepped forward to volunteer in the Harrogate district to support others through this emergency. Existing voluntary organisations have also adapted. I wanted to ensure that we recognise their contribution and thank them.
“We asked the voluntary sector organisations to send us photographs of volunteers in action and they formed part of the ‘Celebration of Volunteering’ presentation at the Harrogate and District Community Action Annual General Meeting.
“I will make sure that every organisation and individual in the presentation will receive a ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ which will be signed by Coun Stuart Martin, Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate.”
He is now urging people to show their support from home.
John added: “I am really delighted that on Friday, October 30 at 7pm, when we would have been together at the beginning of the presentation of the 2020 Harrogate and District Volunteering Oscars Awards, we should all raise a glass - or cup - to all the fantastic volunteers who work very hard to support our community across the whole of the Harrogate district to thank them and wish them well for the future.”
A date has now been set for next year’s Volunteering Oscars - Friday, October 29, 2021.
How you can get involved at home
The event organisers are asking people to post photographs of themselves raising a glass at home in celebration of the district’s volunteers.
All photos posted on social media should tag @VolunteerOscars and include ‘#NeverMoreNeeded’.
For more information on volunteering, visit www.hadca.org.uk/
A message from the Editor
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.