What is your name?
Name of charity you volunteered with during the COVID-19 response?
Sefton CVS and through them, May Logan Centre: ‘Check In and Chat’
Please tell us a little bit about yourself – experience, current / previous job roles?
I am recently retired after a career in secondary teaching, then Connexions – working with young people in very difficult situations and finally as the owner of a fitness centre for women, often providing a listening ear and support around a wide variety of issues.
Why did you want to sign up to volunteer?
My working experience has made me very aware of the importance of support networks for people when circumstances are difficult. The pandemic throws up issues none of us have had to cope with before and I am fortunate enough to have a strong support network through family, friends and church, so being able to offer a little bit of time and a listening ear to a few other people seems a really positive thing to be able to do.
What activities/ tasks has your volunteering included?
I chose to take part in the ‘Check in and chat’ service offered through Sefton CVS and extended to clients of the May Logan centre. I have made regular calls to a small number of people who asked for some phone contact as an extra safety net at this time. If extra help has been needed, for example with shopping, I have been able to make a referral which has been speedily picked up by the central volunteer body.
What has been a memorable moment from your volunteering so far?
It feels such a privilege to make contact and build up a friendly relationship with someone you wouldn’t come across in the normal run of things and for them to trust you enough to share details of their situation.
What words of encouragement would you give for somebody thinking of volunteering?
It’s easy to think ‘What I can offer is only a drop in the ocean’ but that’s what the ocean is made up of – drops – so volunteering is time really well spent and your ‘drop’ could be the thing that really makes a difference for someone.