Star No.3 – Mum and daughter join forces to support the isolated

Sam and Sharon Meese
Mum and daughter join forces to support the isolated

Myself and my mum decided to volunteer to help our community. I am a primary school teacher so after schools closed I wanted to help the vulnerable to carry on with life as normally as possible. My mum is a carer who looks after an elderly relative and volunteers in a local Mary Stevens hospice shop.

We have had a number of local residents in Kingswinford and Amblecote we have been shopping for, collecting prescriptions and offering a friendly chat on the phone when they need it.

We feel we have made a difference by allowing vulnerable people to have a connection to the outside world in this awful time. Without the volunteers, they wouldn’t have access to essentials at this difficult time. It has been a very rewarding experience and it’s brilliant to help to community where possible.

 

Star No.2 – Thunderbirds are go!

Phil Alliband
Thunderbirds are go!

Thunderbird 1

Who are you?
I have lived in Wordsley for 28 years and ran a Computer Services Business locally until 2013. After selling my business I have continued to work on a self-employed basis mainly part time allowing me to have a good work/life balance.

How did you get involved?
I have volunteered for Operation Santa with my wife Sarah and when I heard Dudley CVS needed help during this current crisis I offered my help.

How did you make a difference?
I was allocated an area and my role is mainly collecting and delivering prescriptions for vulnerable residents living in my local area.

Thunderbird 2

have also been asked to help with some shopping and I shop for one lovely old couple every Thursday Morning.

I have earned the role of ‘go to source’ for any emergency requests as I am always willing and happy to drop everything and get the job done, and now have the nickname Thunderbird 1!

How did it make you feel?
I have enjoyed meeting people living in my local area and also establishing a good relationship with local pharmacies. To have a sense of purpose during these difficult times has had a very positive effect on me.

Jayne Emery who is the network lead for the Wall Heath, Kingswinford, Wordsley & Amblecote locality network said:

I have been extremely lucky to have an army of dedicated volunteers who have supported with numerous shopping trips and medicine collections for vulnerable and shielded members of the community since lockdown.

Phil is one of these enthusiastic and committed volunteers. Nothing is too much trouble for Phil, and over the last 10 weeks, he has supported a number of people with their weekly shopping trips along with undertaking on average two medicine collection runs per week.

Tomorrow you will meet Sam and Sharon 🙂

Star No. 1 – Tells us why she is going to be that friend!

Rose Cook Monk
Tells us why she is going to be that friend!

I had a telephone call this afternoon from the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham saying that someone was in there that had a message for me. I was naturally concerned because I wasn’t aware of anyone I knew being there. It turned out to be an elderly gentleman that I’ve been doing shopping for since the lockdown after being matched with him by Dudley CVS Volunteer Centre (who are doing a fabulous job in our community during this most difficult of times).

I had been given his name and number but no other information. I’ve been taking his shopping, which I pay for, I ring him to tell him I’m on my way and he puts the money in an envelope – I ask if he’s ok – he always says the same thing “I am now I’ve seen you bless you for looking after me”.

Yesterday he fell downstairs in his maisonette and was found by his neighbours. When the nurse asked if there was anyone they could call I was the only person he could think of. I have only known him 5 weeks, barely had any conversation, his weekly phone call with his shopping list is always quite short – always asks how I am and worries that I’m keeping safe.

So why after such a short time with such little contact was I his only ‘friend’ – what on earth did this poor Man do before the lockdown? Who helped him? Who did he talk to? I offered to visit but they aren’t accepting visitors -they couldn’t even tell me his surname because I’m not a relative. I felt so bad for him and so very sorry. After all this is over how am I supposed to walk away from him? There must be hundreds of people like him out there. Please if you live by an elderly person or even someone living on their own – keep yourself safe – socially distance yourself – but knock on their door – drop a note through their letterbox, check that they are okay. One face, one voice could make all the difference to their day.

My thoughts tonight are with a lonely old man who needs a friend ……… I’m going to be that friend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow you will get to meet Phil 🙂 

 

One day until our Virtual Volunteers Week 2020 and we would love you to meet some of our amazing volunteers @WeAreBCR

Volunteers Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering.

We have been so fortunate to have over 600 wonderful local people sign up to support our six Dudley CVS Covid Locality Networks and they are out there in the community, making a huge impact to those who are isolated and vulnerable, dropping off medication or doing food shops.  We have selected 7 stars (including a double act!) who have been supporting these networks for the past few months and will be recognising a star every day of Volunteers Week.

Please join us every day from  1st-7th June to hear some very special volunteers tell us why they love what they have been doing. Our first star tomorrow is Rose, so why keep your eyes peeled for our daily stars?

We still need to recognise those amazing volunteers so let’s get creative!

This year, because of the coronavirus situation, many organisations have taken the difficult decision not to go ahead with all the things they would usually do for Volunteers’ Week, so we are going virtual. For some ideas on how you can celebrate your own wonderful volunteers please see our inspirational post with some ideas and e-thank you cards please click here

It’s one week until Virtual Volunteers Week 1-7 June 2020 @NCVOvolunteers @WeAreBCR #volunteersweek

Help us recognise the contributions of our incredible local volunteers

Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering. This year, because of the coronavirus situation, many organisations have taken the difficult decision not to go ahead with all the things they would usually do for Volunteers’ Week.

We still need to recognise those amazing volunteers so let’s get creative!

So what could you do for your volunteers even if you can’t meet them physically?  We all have some fabulous volunteers and the coronavirus pandemic is a stressful, and isolating time for many of us, affecting not just our physical, but also our mental health and wellbeing. Volunteers are no different, particularly if they are currently supporting with the pandemic, supporting communities and isolated, vulnerable individuals.

  • Ring your volunteers to check in with them and say a personal thank you if you can, or perhaps you would prefer something more interactive. Why not set up a Zoom call to your volunteers? If you have lots of volunteers you may need to do several sessions, but they are worth it aren’t they?
  • Add some fun to your online chat and organise a virtual morning coffee or afternoon tea party, suggesting they join in with a cuppa and of course a piece of cake! Have a relaxed chat and you can then see for yourself how they are and if they are coping with the social isolation. It may be that some of them need a little one-to-one support from you, or you may need to signpost them to a local group who could offer shopping or meds collection, or some telephone befriending.
  • Post them a thank you card or certificate to say you appreciate them.
  • Or you could send them an e-thank you card to recognise their contribution. Eileen from the Volunteer Centre has created two different designs [one to recognise Covid volunteering and another generic thank you card], which she is happy to customise for your organisation.  Just contact her on eileen@dudleycvs.org.uk with your logo and organisation name, and she can send the personalised e-card back as a picture or PDF file.

Queen’s Birthday Honours List delayed until autumn due to COVID-19 but you can nominate your personal hero for a special award @WeAreBCR

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List, which recognises the achievements of a wide-range of UK figures, has been postponed from its traditional June date this year due to the coronavirus.

The awards, ranging from knighthoods to MBEs, were scheduled to be handed out on the 94-year-old royal’s birthday on the second Saturday in June (her ‘official’ birthday, not her actual birthday which she recently celebrated on April 21), which this year falls on June 12.

Instead, they will now be pushed back until the autumn, according to BBC journo Lizo Mzimba who took to twitter to state that PM Boris Johnson had confirmed the news in a statement to Parliament. “The list and future lists will include individuals being recognized for efforts related to Covid-19,” he wrote.

HOW TO NOMINATE YOUR PERSONAL HERO 

You can nominate your personal hero who’s gone the extra mile during the crisis and made a real difference to you personally, or people that you know e.g. a volunteer who has been looking after isolated individuals, or who has given hours to their local foodbank.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-honours-nomination-form

Virtual Volunteers Week 1-7 June 2020 Help us recognise the contributions of our incredible local volunteers @WeAreBCR #volunteersweek

Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering. This year, because of the coronavirus situation, many organisations have taken the difficult decision not to go ahead with all the things they would usually do for Volunteers’ Week.

We still need to recognise those amazing volunteers so let’s get creative!

So what could you do for your volunteers even if you can’t meet them physically?  We all have some fabulous volunteers and the coronavirus pandemic is a stressful, and isolating time for many of us, affecting not just our physical, but also our mental health and wellbeing. Volunteers are no different, particularly if they are currently supporting with the pandemic, supporting communities and isolated, vulnerable individuals.

  • Ring your volunteers to check in with them and say a personal thank you if you can, or perhaps you would prefer something more interactive. Why not set up a Zoom call to your volunteers? If you have lots of volunteers you may need to do several sessions, but they are worth it aren’t they?
  • Add some fun to your online chat and organise a virtual morning coffee or afternoon tea party, suggesting they join in with a cuppa and of course a piece of cake! Have a relaxed chat and you can then see for yourself how they are and if they are coping with the social isolation. It may be that some of them need a little one-to-one support from you, or you may need to signpost them to a local group who could offer shopping or meds collection, or some telephone befriending.
  • Post them a thank you card or certificate to say you appreciate them.
  • Or you could send them an e-thank you card to recognise their contribution. Eileen from the Volunteer Centre has created two different designs [one to recognise Covid volunteering and another generic thank you card], which she is happy to customise for your organisation.  Just contact her on eileen@dudleycvs.org.uk with your logo and organisation name, and she can send the personalised e-card back as a picture or PDF file.