Over 500 colleague volunteer missions completed!

In our partnership with onHand and NICA, colleague volunteers have completed over 500 tasks!

Last year, we teamed up with onHand and NICA to use app technology to connect our team of colleague volunteers with those in need, in our region and beyond.

To help celebrate our colleagues completing over 500 missions, we caught up with some of our Society volunteers to find out how they’ve been getting on.

Take a look!

 

Sarah, Branch Manager

At the start of lockdown, I wanted to use my spare time productively and decided to volunteer for the NHS and I really enjoyed doing it. When the Society announced the partnership with onHand, I really felt that I could put my experience to good use!

So far, I’ve completed a wide variety of tasks including companionship calls, shop drops and, my favourite, dog walking! I’ve loved the companionship calls, and getting the chance to hear other people’s stories and memories – I’ve now got a few holiday destinations to visit when I can after hearing about their favourite trips!

There’s been so many highlights for me so far! One onHand recipient was struggling with their shopping as the items weren’t classed as essential, but were home comforts and items to help keep warm – thankfully we were able to help and get the items delivered!

It’s really important to give back, especially in these difficult times, and I’m lucky to be in the position to be able to help! Being an onHand volunteer is a fantastic opportunity, and has provided me with the knowledge of how I can engage with our Society members and others in our communities should they need support! The onHand team are also so supportive and motivating!

 

Ray, IT Operator

At first, the onHand partnership was a great way for me to put my volunteering days to use, especially given that the pandemic made it difficult to volunteer with a local school as I usually would. I’ve spent my volunteering time completing tasks including shopping trips, dog walking and companionship calls - it’s been a great way to get out and about while helping people in need!

I’d encourage anyone to give it a go! You’ll meet some great personalities and although it may seem daunting at first, you’ll soon realise how fantastic an opportunity it is to help people in need!

 

Louise, Customer Adviser

I became a colleague volunteer for onHand as I love helping and talking to people, as I know how lonely life can get for those who don’t see or speak to a lot of people. I’m really enjoying it and love listening to the different stories – so far, I’ve helped with gardening tasks and companionship calls.

My experience with onHand has reminded me to never take life for granted, and by doing something as simple as talking can really make a difference and make someone smile!

 

Neil, Customer Adviser

I got involved with onHand as it’s a great way to help those in our local community and provide much needed support during the pandemic. I like that I can select missions that suit my day and no two missions are ever the same!

The majority of my tasks so far have been companionship calls, however I’ve also recently started to help out with some pet care and dog walking! My favourite mission so far has been working with another Society colleague volunteer on some socially-distanced garden tasks.

The main highlight for me is knowing that I’m not only supporting those who need it, but being able to talk and chat to others through the missions has really helped my own mental wellbeing by socialising, albeit socially-distanced or by telephone, during the pandemic.

 

Donna, Project Manager

During lockdown, I really missed not being able to use my volunteering days – I was already doing local charity work in my area during the pandemic, and when the onHand partnership was announced I thought it’d be a fantastic opportunity to help in my local area and make a difference!

So far, I’ve taken part in gardening tasks and companionship calls – I now speak to an onHand recipient every week and even spoke to him on his 79th birthday, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day! I’ve loved being an onHand volunteer – even just a couple of hours a week is so rewarding, especially during this difficult time!

The great thing is that you can work this around your lifestyle, it’s just a case of selecting the mission you’d like to complete at a time that suits you best!

 

Iain, Branch Development

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, I knew there must be people in my local area needing a helping hand, but I wasn’t sure how to find out until I heard about the onHand partnership! Working from home, volunteering helped me get out and about and chat to interesting people. It’s been great so far! I’ve completed companionship calls, shop drops, gardening and even some dog walking! As my work schedule has gotten busier, I’ve been able to adapt my volunteering to suit my schedule!

It’s great to know you’re making a positive difference to those who need it and, being a bit of an introvert myself, it’s helped encourage me to step outside my comfort zone and has even helped a few more colleagues get involved! I’ve learnt that just being your friendly self can make such a difference, even if I’ve also realised that gardening just isn’t for me!

I’d encourage everyone to get involved – it’s a lovely feeling knowing you’re making a difference during a difficult time. Not only is it helping others, but it’s been a lot of fun for me and has quickly become part of my normal week!