Organisations across Oxfordshire are thanking their volunteers ahead of next week's Volunteers' Week for their time and dedication over the year.

Witney-based charity Volunteer Link-Up is offering its helpers a free cup of tea or coffee at Delice on Witney High Street.

Manager Mary Boullin said: “Volunteers’ Week is a great opportunity for us to say thank you and celebrate the fantastic contribution our volunteers make. We’re delighted to be working with local café, Delice, to thank them.”

Oxford Mail:

Volunteer Link-Up's Adrian Phillips and cafe Delice owner Miguel

Volunteer Link-Up work with 200 volunteers and more than 885 clients across West Oxfordshire, supporting residents to remain independent in their homes.

During the pandemic their volunteers have carried out 1,277 drives to vaccination appointments, collecting shopping and prescriptions for clients.

It has also teamed up with Witney Community Fridge to carry out 167 food box deliveries.

Janet Cox, pictured below, a volunteer befriender of six years, said: “It gives me great pleasure to know that I am considered one of the family now. They have given me produce from their garden and I usually have a cup of coffee with them. Volunteering is a two-way street!’.

Oxford Mail:

And since lockdown husband and wife team, Peta and Richard Simmons have delivered necessary medication to outlying village shops around Chipping Norton so that people could pick up their medication locally and not have to travel.

Jude Busby has been a volunteer befriender since 2016 and is currently befriending an elderly lady who is very hard of hearing. Jude is unable to visit her in person because of the pandemic but keeps in regular touch by texting the lady’s son who passes on her messages.

Meanwhile Citizens Advice across Oxfordshire thanks its 500 volunteers for their tireless support.

It has continued giving advice to those in need throughout the pandemic, quickly rallying to ensure as many people as possible could be helped as services saw unprecedented demand. Advice provided over the telephone increased from 36 per cent to 63 per cent in the last year.

In the last year, Citizens Advice across Oxfordshire has helped over 27,000 people with problems, such as debt, housing, benefit and employment issues.

Pat Coomber-Wood, Chief Officer at Citizens Advice North Oxfordshire, said: “Our wonderful team of volunteers dedicate their time and skills to ensure that people in Oxfordshire can get support in their time of need.

"I’m particularly proud of the immense dedication they’ve shown during this pandemic - with many working from living rooms and kitchens to keep the service running."

And Banbury-based charity Dogs for Good is saying a big thank you to their volunteers for their essential work of fundraising, raising and caring for their pups and assistance dogs.

Dogs for Good creates life-changing differences for people living with conditions including autism, physical and learning disabilities and dementia. Sarah Langford, communications manager, said: “If we didn’t have volunteers to socialise our puppies or offer free temporary accommodation the training costs would be significantly more."