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Service in Romsey Abbey

The Test Valley Civic Service on Sunday gave thanks to volunteers during the pandemic

The Test Valley Civic Service that was held on Sunday 4th July, 2021 in Romsey Abbey. The service was led by the Mayor’s Chaplain, Rev’d Thomas Wharton and the theme was to give thanks for the dedication and support of volunteers who have worked so hard throughout the borough, in particular during the pandemic.

The Mayor of Test Valley, councillor Mark Cooper said “The fact that this day coincided with the National Thank You Day was apt, during the pandemic we have seen overwhelming support from volunteers across the borough and this was the perfect opportunity for us to give thanks and show our appreciation.” 

Terry Bishop from Unity which is a council for voluntary service said in her reflection speech that the community spirit in Test Valley is undeniable and Unity is proud to have been a small part of this enormous effort.   The Unity team continue to man the helpline as there is still a need and many of the groups are still supporting their vulnerable residents too. She took the opportunity to thank Test Valley Borough Council and all the parish councils, groups and their volunteers who have been phenomenal during this difficult time.

Unity reacted quickly to the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, by promoting a help hotline for the borough and recruiting volunteers to help the vulnerable and isolated people with collecting prescriptions and other errands. This was a huge task and Test Valley Borough Council became partners with them helping to automate the processes, and recruiting staff members as volunteers for support and to man the helpline. In addition many rural groups and parish councils were also proactive and Unity was able to help by sharing the government updates and providing best practise guidance for the local volunteers in the communities.

Guests at the service were the Freemen of the Borough, Alderman, TVBC past Mayor’s, MP, TVBC councillors, civic heads from across Hampshire, members of Unity, representatives of voluntary support groups in the borough, the police and Scouts.