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Thank you to all our volunteers during Volunteers' Week

1 June 2020
By Sarah Norcross
Director, Progress Educational Trust
Appeared in BioNews 1049

Thank you....

This week is Volunteers' Week and we would like to give a massive shout out to all our volunteers, past and present, and say thank you for all that they have done and all that they continue to do.

We are incredibly grateful to the pool of enormously talented BioNews writers who give up their time at the weekend to write for us, so that we can continue to publish BioNews each week for free. Without the help of our volunteer writers BioNews would not be here today.

In addition to our volunteer writers, the Progress Educational Trust (PET) benefits from a variety of truly amazing people who help with our other activities. Some carry out tasks remotely, whilst others come into the PET office... that is, they did before the COVID-19 restrictions. In the office you never quite know what will be in store. One (un)lucky volunteer helped me lift the floor tiles when we had water come in through the ceiling – though several months later she did end up with a paid role at PET, as a BioNews editor.

You may wonder just how can drafting a few tweets, researching some Members of Parliament or stuffing delegate packs make a difference? We cannot emphasise enough that every task our volunteers do helps us extend our reach or allows us to be more effective by saving us time. Some people have skills that we simply don't have.

We wouldn't normally single one person out for a special mention, but the work that Steve has carried out changing our IT infrastructure has been truly transformative – we wouldn't have been able to work from home during lockdown if he hadn't dragged PET's systems out of the dark ages. We would also like to thank the talented team of volunteers at 4C, whose expertise and exuberance has given us a way of managing our contacts that we could only ever have dreamt of. This has changed the way we all work – and for the better!

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has said that as a result of the national emergency, people are stepping up to help in ways that have not been seen in the UK before. Here at PET we have had more people getting in touch wanting to write for BioNews, including some former writers whom we have been delighted to welcome back. If you are interested in volunteering for PET, then please do get in touch by emailing me at

Drafting this during lockdown brought home how much we all miss the interactions with our volunteers who come into the office or who help at our events, and as we start to move our events online, we wonder how long it will be before we can all meet again and catch up properly.

Thank you one and all.

Every day this week, to mark Volunteers' Week, PET will be publishing a video in which our longstanding volunteer Daniel Malynn discusses a different aspect of his experience volunteering with us.

The first video can be seen below. Follow us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see more videos throughout the week.

15 June 2020 - by Sarah Norcross 
Sarah Norcross, director of the Progress Educational Trust, is interviewed by the radio station Voice of Islam...
8 June 2020 - by Daniel Malynn 
A longstanding volunteer for the charity that publishes BioNews discusses his experiences in a series of short videos...
1 June 2020 - by Kerry Dyus 
Motivations for volunteering are as diverse as the volunteers themselves...
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