Have you experienced that nice feeling inside when you do something to help someone else and know that they have really appreciated it? It follows that volunteering to help others is good for both you and the person you help.
One positive response to the coronavirus has been a generosity of spirit, with many people willing to do what they can to help others. Giving your time to help others can be formal or informal. Formal volunteering is explained in more detail on our volunteering page together with links to local volunteer centres.
Over time we hope to advertise a range of volunteering opportunities that are available with Grand Union. To start the process, we are happy to announce a new telephone befriending project which we are piloting until March 2021.
If the following applies to you then please click for further details:
- you want to help others feel less isolated and lonely
- you can regularly volunteer for 1-3 hours each week for at least three months.
- you can listen with empathy and understanding and without being judgemental
- you can encourage conversation and sharing of news, focusing on the positive and helping people smile
- you can follow procedures and guidance designed to keep everyone safe.
Within your local community there are likely to be other volunteering opportunities, a good place to start is faith groups, parish or town councils and food banks/larders.
If you are interested in something less formal, staff have a number of suggestions. Many colleagues have seen the benefits of walking in their local communities both for themselves and others. This has helped them get to know people. A smile, a wave or a short conversation may not seem like much, but it could brighten someone’s day. By learning more about the community, you can also spot when things don’t look right, or someone who needs some extra help.
In a similar vein to Aileen, our Chief Exec’s idea of posting cards to friends and family, one of our supported living customers sent greetings to friends, family, politicians and the royal family and was rewarded by some lovely replies.
As a final idea, whatever you do at the front of your home is likely to add interest and be appreciated by your community. It could be planting some flowers in a border or pots or putting up some art in your window.