From June 1 to June 7 is national volunteer week, a time in which the work that thousands of people in the UK selflessly put in to helping others is celebrated across the country.
Norwich City Academy midfielder Saxon Earley is one of these volunteers, after he decided to dedicate some of his time away from football into helping others at Soul Church throughout the pandemic.
SOUL Foundation, which had been delivering 1,000 meals a week in late March, has ramped up its delivery output and is set to send out more than half a milllion meals over the next six months.
The increased effort, which saw 13,000 parcels delivered a week before the end of April, is a response to a surge in demand of people struggling to get food during lockdown.
Food will be going to those who are vulnerable and in need through partnerships with local schools and families, other charities and organisations, as well as individuals who have been referred or have self-referred.
Speaking on his decision, Earley said he chose to volunteer as it was a productive use of his time during this pandemic, whilst enabling him to make a difference to the local community.
“I volunteered to do this last week because I felt like it was a good use of my time in this current situation and it felt great to be able to help others.
“I helped pack the boxes of food to be distributed around Norwich to help the less fortunate people of the community. The experience was great, being around other volunteers, knowing we’re all doing the same thing for the same cause, it gave me a really good sense of wellbeing.”
Reflecting further on his time volunteering, Earley described it as a ‘feel good experience’, as well as fulfilling to know what his work was helping towards.
“It was a great feel good experience, especially in times like this, it was really good to know you’re making a difference and helping other people. I found it extremely rewarding, and I’ve planned to do it a lot more in the future. It felt like it was a really nice and important way to spend my time away from football.”