Volunteer Now, the lead organisation for promoting and supporting volunteering in Northern Ireland, has launched Ordinary People – Extraordinary Times, a new photographic series capturing the work of volunteers across all six counties helping local communities in need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supported by the Department for Communities, the ‘Ordinary People – Extraordinary Times’ Photographic Series chronicles the story of the COVID-19 volunteer response through a series of candid images capturing the herculean efforts of local communities during this unprecedented time.
From food bank packers to prescription delivery drivers, soup kitchen workers, telephone befrienders and even online children’s storytellers and dance class instructors, the series aims to reflect the breadth and diversity of volunteer efforts right across Northern Ireland.
The series follows on from Volunteer Now’s #HelpEachOther campaign which was launched in March this year to promote specific COVID-19 related volunteering opportunities and saw over 4,000 volunteers register across Northern Ireland.
Denise Hayward, Chief Executive Officer of Volunteer Now explains: “In the 10 years that Volunteer Now has been established in Northern Ireland, the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly been our greatest challenge. We are immensely proud of the work of the volunteers in helping to navigate this crisis.
We want to ensure the efforts of Northern Ireland’s volunteering community are acknowledged and recorded for future generations as they look back on this unprecedented period of time. As such, we have embarked upon a photography project over the last number of months to capture volunteers in action at a time when ordinary people became extraordinary community heroes.
We are delighted to now launch ‘Ordinary People – Extraordinary Times Photographic Series’ and provide a first glimpse of some of the striking images of the wonderful volunteers in action. The series is a fantastic testament to the spirit and generosity of the people of Northern Ireland and is our way of saying a huge thank you to the dedicated volunteers who continue to make Northern Ireland a better place.”
Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said: “I am delighted that this photographic series has captured the efforts of the thousands of volunteers, who have been true heroes throughout the crisis, and have selflessly given their time to benefit others.
Throughout the pandemic I have been truly heartened by the generosity and wonderful sense of community displayed in every corner of our society where people from all walks of life stepped forward to help. I have no doubt anyone who views the series online will feel a sense of pride in all our volunteer’s efforts.”
The full set of images from the ‘Ordinary People – Extraordinary Times Photographic Series’ are available to download as an e-book via the Volunteer Now website www.volunteernow.co.uk/volunteering/helpeachother/ordinary-people-extraordinary-times/.
Volunteer Now also plans to launch the full photographic series as a regional photography exhibition across each county in the coming months, in association with local Councils, when safe to do so.
For more information visit www.volunteernow.co.uk.