Volunteering in the community
There are lots of ways to get involved in volunteering across the district, for example through helping out at sports clubs, befriending, driving, helping out at food banks, conservation work and litter picking to name just a few. As well as helping others, volunteering has been shown to improve volunteers' wellbeing too. It’s human nature to feel good after helping someone out. As well as the feel good factor, volunteering can also boost confidence and help people gain valuable new skills and experiences. Information about voluntary opportunities can be found on the Do-it website.
Below, we caught up with two local organisations to find out more about the work they do and just how valuable volunteers are to them.
Sight Concern Worcestershire
Sight Concern Worcestershire supports blind and partially sighted people to lead independent and fulfilling lives. The volunteer co-ordinator explains how their volunteers are really making a difference during the pandemic.
“As Sight Concern is unable to support clients on a face to face basis at the moment, our telephone befriending volunteers are staying in contact through regular telephone calls. We have been able to set up over 70 new partnerships for regular telephone calls since the beginning of April.
For people who are lonely or isolated, regular telephone calls and having someone to talk to really does make a huge difference - and volunteers gain a great deal of satisfaction and positive feedback, showing what a difference their weekly call can make. One new volunteer recently commented, “It was something I could do straightaway to help out during this unsettling time and as I was also self-isolating, it was good for me too”.
As this situation looks as though it may be some considerable time before face to face activities and group meetings can resume, we will continue to need new volunteers to take on the role as clients with sight loss continue to be referred to us.”
Volunteer Coordinator, Sight Concern Worcestershire
For more information on volunteering with them visit Sight Concern Worcestershire.
Onside is a charity which is passionate about equality. It is working across Worcestershire and Herefordshire, established in 1993 stemming from a belief that everyone has the right to be a valued human being and to be treated in a just and fair way.
In support of this belief it provides a range of support and services to ensure fairness and equality for adults who may be vulnerable, disadvantaged or discriminated against. This includes mental and physical ill health, sensory impairment, learning disability, drug and alcohol misuse, older people, and carers.
Here the Volunteer Manager explains how they need volunteers to help them,
"We have a range of opportunities. We need people to offer support with support with access to community groups, we can link these in with their interests, such as crafts, gardening and sports. We are currently helping to involve individuals in online activities and check and chat over the phone. People can offer support via community projects and advocacy around debt, benefits, housing and access to online services. Our volunteers have supported groups within local communities and again this in months to come could be around lifestyle and mentoring someone to access and achieve their goals too.
Our volunteers say they get a sense of achievement around working towards someone's goals and aspirations. Many volunteer as a stepping stone when looking for work, this is something they can include on their CV. Others just enjoy being involved in their local community
We need volunteers for all our projects to support their local community through mentoring in our community projects. It is an exciting time to join us and volunteers only need to give one to two hours a week to support someone. We do offer full training and expenses are paid.”Volunteer Manager, Onside
Volunteering during the coronavirus pandemic
The Worcestershire Here 2 Help campaign is assisting the many vulnerable people in our community who have to self-isolate. This Here 2 Help website provides a central location for the vulnerable who are unable to seek help from family, friends and neighbours. You can request help, volunteer to help and find useful resources.