Star No 4 – I feel like we have sailed a path through these stormy waters together and we will keep going until we are able to step out onto a safer shore

Sheila Jones

When we went into lockdown I applied to the NHS volunteer responders appeal.  I know that they were inundated so response time was slow.  In the meantime, my husband who also works for Dudley MBC received an email through work asking for volunteers for Dudley CVS to help the local community so I put my name forward as well.  I was soon contacted by Eileen and my story begins.

In normal life I work for Summerhill Pathways at Summerhill School in Kingswinford.  Along with working in the office I am also teach swimming and lifesaving.

I was quickly matched up with three people who needed help with their shopping.  When I first rang to introduce myself, I was a little nervous but we soon started to get to know each other.  We have now got into a lovely little weekly routine starting with a chat for the shopping lists and a chance to find out a little bit more about each other.  My Mum is vulnerable and lives in Shrewsbury so when we went into lockdown I knew that my sister would take care of her but I felt a bit useless. So, I started this process to help where I could.  What I didn’t expect was to find three different, lovely people who are so grateful of my help but, in turn, have also helped me through these strange and unprecedented times by giving me a sense of purpose.  I feel like we have sailed a path through these stormy waters together and we will keep going until we are able to step out onto a safer shore having battled this storm in the best way we can, with care and kindness for each other.

We will never forget one another and I hope one day, when all this is over, we may be able to sit down and have a proper conversation over a nice cup of tea.


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.