All Those Little Things You Do - Neighbourhood Response Volunteers

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One of my tasks recently has been working with my colleague at Salford CVS, Ashley, to coordinate and deploy the Neighbourhood Response Volunteers.

What are Neighbourhood Response Volunteers I hear you cry?

Of the many, many people who have volunteered to help during the current crisis, some have been assigned to neighbourhoods to provide a quick response to COVID-19 related problems that our local folk are facing.

Specifically, for Ashley and I, these neighbourhoods are in Eccles, Irlam, Cadishead, Winton and Barton. The tasks volunteers have been undertaking are many and varied; some people have walked dogs for people who are shielding, others have dropped off and picked up knitting supplies and taken the finished products to where they will be of the most use. We have delivered emergency food and organised the delivery of medicines, last week volunteers made sure that art activity packs went out to some of the children within the neighbourhoods who have complex needs. Next week a volunteer will be collecting 17 catering size tins of beans which will be taken to For the Love of Food, to help with their emergency meals on wheels program.

Our volunteers are from all walks of life and there is a range of ages - right up to the age that people have been asked to shield. They travel on foot, in their cars and one cycles on a rather spiffy bike! What they have in common is the ability to respond quickly and complete a short task, usually taking no longer than 45 minutes, that makes an enormous difference in the lives of the people in our neighbourhoods. Retired people, those going back to work and those who unfortunately no longer have a job are all managing to fit a little piece of micro-volunteering into their week.

A little bit of human contact

One of the things I encourage volunteers to do is to try to have in a couple of minutes of (appropriately socially distanced) uplifting conversation. Many of the people who have had a delivery or some other form of assistance have told us that this little bit of human contact has made their week and left them feeling much less isolated and alone.

Although some of our volunteers are dog walking daily the majority are micro-volunteering, completing short tasks once a week. Many are going back to work and are still able to fit in one delivery a week or so and all these little tasks add up in an exponential way to significantly improve the health and wellbeing daily lives of people in Salford.

Interested in volunteering?

If you’re considering volunteering, either as part of a long term role or micro-volunteering to help over the next few months, please do contact our Volunteer Centre. To help us, and to help you get the best from your volunteering experience we recommend that you have two named referees ready before your apply to volunteer. Your two referees must not be related to you and need to be prepared to respond to a request from our Volunteer Centre.for a reference.

And to the local neighbourhood volunteers who have helped over the last couple of months whether you’ve helped once or 20 times thank you very much, every little bit really does make a difference!l

Salford CVS
Author: 
Beatty Osborne, Volunteering Development Worker

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Salford CVS & Volunteer Centre
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5 Irwell Place 
Salford, M30 0FN

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Email: office@salfordcvs.co.uk

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Salford CVS is the city-wide infrastructure organisation for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector; providing specialist information, advice, development support and opportunities for influence and collaboration.

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