Delivering goodwill and essential supplies

 

We spoke to Liam at Alfriston Outreach Service about how they are involving volunteers in their work. Looking forward, Alfriston Outreach Service want to carry on involving volunteers, moving away from short term practical tasks to befriending and volunteer-led activities. With a set of pre-COVID volunteers, the current food delivery volunteers and the future recruits, the Alfriston team is planning ahead and looking forward to welcoming their service users back at the Centre.

 

Alfriston Outreach Service is a Day Centre that offers a range of services such as activity packs, shopping/delivery, prescription pick-up, hearing aid batteries, laundry, crisis support, and technology support to Kingston residents. In the past, a typical day would see many residents walking into the Centre to socialize and interact with other service users. However, since March 2020 they have remained closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, they have been contracted by Kingston Council to provide support for older people such as delivering food and other essential supplies.

Volunteers have always played a key role at the Alfriston Outreach Service Centre taking up everyday tasks to support their services. Although the Centre has traditionally recruited volunteers through word of mouth, they’ve found Team Kinetic (Volunteering Kingston’s volunteer management platform) much more effective for recruiting and managing volunteers. According to the Alfriston Outreach Service, the platform’s user-friendly outlook with simplified interactive features has been a game changer.

It was during the initial days of the lockdown when Liam and his manager found it very challenging to manage the office-based tasks alongside travelling to various parts of the Borough to deliver food. So they decided to recruit for two roles that needed one or two volunteers and received an overwhelming response from twenty-five volunteers who were keen to get out to help those in need and offer their share of service towards the community.

 

Without volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to do this. Once we got in touch with Volunteering Kingston, everything happened very quickly and it made things run a lot smoother.

 

The volunteers who came on board to support with the food delivery role have been delivering more than just the essential supplies, they have been delivering smiles, a hearty chat and acting as an observant eye to check on the well-being of the service users. For example, one volunteer reported that a service user seemed a little confused during their interaction, which led to the Alfriston team checking on the resident to make sure they received the support they needed. Alfriston Outreach Service fully appreciates how volunteers have come forward during these tough times to spread goodwill in the community. To further amplify this, there are plans to include the volunteers in an Easter Egg delivery in the coming weeks. We at Volunteering Kingston think that this is a fantastic idea and perhaps the volunteers could dress up as Easter bunnies? Just a thought!

 

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