Covid-19 has changed how we do things and volunteering is no exception.
It’s been a tough time for the voluntary sector, with some organisations having to rethink how they involve volunteers, and others having to adapt their volunteering programmes to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We delivered our first online RE-thinking Volunteering session in September to volunteer involving organisations. The aim of the session was to look at how the COVID-19 crisis has affected volunteering and what the future holds.
We heard from some incredible organisations who had adapted to deliver in this changing world, and helping the most vulnerable people during the crisis.
Maudsley Charity provided over 300 mobile phones with £15 credit for people with mental health issues, so that they could stay in touch with their Care Coordinators and volunteer befrienders.
Voluntary Services Lewisham already delivered a successful face-to-face befriending scheme with over 100 volunteers befrienders, but in light of COVID-19 this had to be halted. They were part of the Lewisham Response Hub to respond to shielded residents who needed a befriender – they quickly developed a befriending phone scheme, and recruited over 200 volunteer befrienders to help with over 800 weekly calls to shielded residents.
On Your Doorstep
Action For refugees in Lewisham had to find a different way of doing things – with their Helping Hands Food Bank project having to close it’s doors, they had to switch gear, recruit volunteers, and move into weekly home delivery of emergency food parcels to over 30 refugee families.
Diamond Club held a weekly activites group for older people who were isolated and lonely. Given that all group activities had to be stopped in March – the Diamond Club got creative, and put together a weekly newsletter that was packed full with useful information, stories, poems, and puzzles. They had a small team of volunteers who hand delivered 200 newsletters each week.