During the Coronavirus Pandemic, Lindsay gives us an insight into the work that she has been doing as part of Framework's Volunteering Team. Reflecting on how this has helped people during these unprecedented times.
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“All of our volunteers have been impacted at this time, in one way or another”
“I’m part of Framework’s Volunteer Team and for the last four weeks, I’ve been making welfare calls to our volunteers. Most people haven’t been able to continue volunteering, due to Covid-19 and won’t be able to for a while because of the nature of the support they provide. My role is to ring up, see how they are, give them a bit of an update about Framework and just generally show that the Volunteer Team cares about them as much as we care about our Service Users and Staff.
“It’s been inspiring in a lot of ways. Some of our volunteers are ex-service users and have said that having gone through our support services, the skills and knowledge that they have gained has helped them cope with this crisis.
“Most volunteers have had some change in their circumstances; all have been impacted by the current situation – some are in the vulnerable group or have a family member who is, some are home-schooling. They are missing volunteering, but they are appreciative of how things have changed. Everybody I have spoken to is keen to come back and volunteer once things have returned back to some form of normality.
“A few volunteers are still working at their placements from home. One person is continuing to provide 1:1 counselling support, as they were doing it by phone before the pandemic. Another, who is doing a great job, is a volunteer coordinator- supporting the volunteers by phone and email.
“I am pleased that I can still contribute a little to such a great charity at this difficult time for everyone. I too have benefited enormously from being able to start my volunteering again after a few weeks break.
“I was nervous about coming into the Training Centre as my elderly father has very complex needs but being here has shown me how you can still work in an environment and follow social distancing rules – I’ve actually felt safer coming here than I have going into most shops! I’ve been supported by the rest of Volunteer Team, who treat you as an equal, as well as understand your personal circumstances.
“Volunteering makes a huge difference to my life – it is respite from career responsibilities and helps me to manage severe tinnitus. It enables me to use my skills to support staff and volunteers and to feel part of a team.”