Trustees Week 2021 | Reflections of Cllr Liz Green

 

This Trustees’ Week, longstanding active volunteer, Cllr Liz Green shares her reflections on volunteering and becoming a trustee. 

Whilst I’ve been a volunteer in various organisations for many years, I took on my first voluntary board member role earlier this year. The organisation is St Martin of Tours, which is a housing association for people with complex mental health needs. A lot of my volunteer roles have centred around mental health, as it is an issue close to my heart, so it seemed an obvious step.

I was warmly welcomed by the other board members and officers and got stuck straight in. It was different to the more personal volunteering support I was used to, but it is just as rewarding. I’m looking at the financial sustainability of the organisation; the long term vision and goals; the quality of services; better working with stakeholders and the community; and the set of the organisation itself. Because of my skillset, I’ve joined a subcommittee looking at quality and compliance, including resident and stakeholder satisfaction. As a regulated services working with NHS and local authorities, there are multiple aspects to this work, but putting clients and service users first is a must for me. They come to us via various methods, but all of them need support and care to help them move on to more independent living and live the best life they can. Their voice is vital in the running of the service, so we take time to listen to what they want and need.

I was worried that the time element would make it difficult for me, but that hasn’t been the case. We have board meetings every other month in the early evening, then there is a few emails and papers a week to read through, some mandatory training videos and occasionally away day. I can fit this into my schedule without any problems and mostly work at a time that suits me and my family.

I know that by being a board member, I am helping shape the organisation to provide what the organisation and the clients need. The reward of joining a board comes in knowing that my work will help change their lives for the better and there is nothing more satisfying than that. I’m glad I made this step. I’m still doing personal volunteering in other organisations, but this has given me the chance to help with wholesale changes that need to be made to give the best services to this vulnerable group of our community.

Would you like to become a Trustee for a local charity? Check out some of the active roles here or speak to our team to find a role that’s right for you.

 

How to support families arriving from Afghanistan

The news from Afghanistan is extremely concerning and has prompted an outpouring of generosity and offers of help from people across Kingston. During challenging and uncertain times, it is very heartening to hear that so many in our community want to support.

Kingston’s response

Kingston is currently preparing the groundwork to welcome families from Afghanistan via the Home Office resettlement schemes. The council, Refugee Action Kingston and the Migrant Advocacy Service are working together to support refugees and the families of staff who worked for British organisations.

To find out more about the resettlement plans and schemes for newly arriving families from Afghanistan, visit the below pages here:

 

Donations and fundraising

You can help Refugee Action Kingston by becoming a regular supporter.

If you aren’t in the position to donate money, you can:

  • Share posts asking for funds on social media.
  • Hold fundraising coffee mornings/BBQs.
  • Ask friends and family to donate instead of birthday presents.
  • Donate items (check the website to see what is currently needed). You could also collect items on your street and offer to transport them in one go.

 

Check the Refugee Action Kingston website for donations they are seeking at the moment – if there are other items you have to give away, contact us at Volunteering Kingston and we can find the best place.

You can also offer items and housing via this government website.

 

Volunteers with the right skills and expertise

Over 400 people approached Refugee Action Kingston to offer support in the wake of developments in Afghanistan. The families, refugees and locally employed staff, need expert support and volunteers with specific skills. Dari and Pashto speakers, mental health professionals and mentors will be needed.

Even if there is not an immediate need for a specific offer of support,  the skills and time being offered will be needed in the future as our new community members rebuild their lives in Kingston.

You can find out more about volunteering here:

* Sign up to hear more about volunteering opportunities from Refugee Action Kingston.

* Register on the Volunteering Kingston website here.

Sign up for the training programme with the Migrant Advocacy Project to become an advisor for vulnerable migrants.

Refugees at Home and Room for Refugees – offer a room to a refugee if you have space in your home.

* Volunteer with the Refugee Council.

* If you would be interested in providing housing or fostering children, you can register your interest on this government website.

 

Small actions you can do that make a big difference

Donate items to Care4Calais – note that the Kingston drop off is currently closed. You could offer to collect donations for your local WhatsApp group and drive to the nearest place.

* Write to your MP regarding support for refugees.

* Share donation links and volunteer opportunities on social media.

* Write a letter of welcome and support to families arriving in Kingston. Include as much as you like, including drawings and pictures, and your wish to welcome new families to the wonderful borough of Kingston.

Letters, drawings and photos can be sent to :

Refugee Action Kingston
Siddeley House 50 Canbury Park Rd
Kingston upon Thames KT2 6LX

Volunteering through adversity: Ruth’s story

Ruth has dipped in and out of volunteering since her late teens, but it wasn’t until 2021 that it started featuring so prominently in her life. Suffering from mental health issues, Ruth had to resign from her full-time job as a hospital administrator back in 2016. The following years were marked by a series of difficulties, including temporary accommodation away from her community and intensive therapy. Ruth managed to continue therapy throughout the pandemic, which she says she’s incredibly grateful for. Ultimately, she would get referred to Volunteering Kingston and start her latest volunteering journey.

Ruth started volunteering with Kingston Snowflakes in February 2021 and has received a different task to execute every week. The group’s ultimate goal is to “make the world a better place” with every small action, and for Ruth it was an opportunity to once again start contributing towards society in a small but accessible way. “I was really, really overjoyed I was able to do something,” she explains. “Especially when things were at their worst this January with lockdown and the new (coronavirus) variants. Being able to make the tiniest bit of a difference and reach out to someone gave me enrichment. Like you’ve got meaning and purpose to actually make a difference.”

Her goal had been to start volunteering with a regular role when her therapy ended back in April, but the experience with Kingston Snowflakes was so rewarding that Ruth soon took up a second volunteer role at the Chatty Café Scheme, where, once a week, she speaks to a vulnerable adult who is experiencing loneliness and self-isolation. She didn’t stop there though. She also started volunteering at the Hogsmill Community Garden and at the Scope charity shop in Tolworth. Very quickly, Ruth was engaging with four different volunteering roles.

“My priorities in life have become a lot more black and white,” she says. “I’m very clear on what’s important to me. I’m not going to leave it behind this time. My time is being filled with meaningful things. I’m still unwell, but I’m starting to stretch my muscles again, getting myself back into a routine – a meaningful routine.”

Overall, she struggles to characterise the experience of volunteering, saying “a positive impact” is possibly not sufficiently emphatic to convey just how much it has transformed her life. “That’s possibly the understatement of the century!” she says with a laugh.

But when it comes to volunteering as a general concept, she’s resolute: “People don’t understand that a lot of jobs are completely voluntary. If people didn’t do them, they just wouldn’t get done. And when you find yourself touched by adversity, you start to see that most of the help you get is from charities and nowhere else. Basically, a lot of the good stuff that happens in this world happens because of volunteers.”

Do you feel inspired by this story? Would you like to volunteer and help make a difference in your community? Check out the current openings here.

 

This article was written by Dany Rubbo, Comms Volunteer at Volunteering Kingston.

Reflections on a Week of Gratitude – National Volunteers’ Week 2021

And so 2021 National Volunteers Week is coming to an end. Like the 2020 version, it has had to accommodate the realities of an ongoing pandemic, although that doesn’t seem to have prevented an impressive contribution via social media and digital channels. The 2021 version has had more time to adapt to the limitations of social distancing thus allowing some socially distanced events to also take place.

Here at Groundwork London we have focused all of our National Volunteers’ Week energies on trying to show the incredible level of gratitude to volunteers for the past year. Of course, we could never quite achieve that because the level of gratitude required far surpasses anything attainables immense. June 2020-June 2021 is forever to be known in history as the time of the Covid-19 Pandemic and what has been clear to everyone is how much volunteers have been central to the countries’ Covid Response, both at national and local levels.

Volunteer after volunteer, community group after community group, mutual aid organisation after local sewing club have all stepped up to support people in their time of need. The events across social media and the digital presence throughout this week has reflected the sheer scale of the contribution that volunteering has made to mitigating suffering and pathing the way to return to some form of normality in time. However it will be, new normality will be very different as the immeasurable contribution of volunteers can no longer be taken for granted. Their voices, and the voices of those who support them, have been heard loud and clear this week, and long may it continue.

Volunteering Kingston’s Volunteers’ Week contribution saw us hold pop-up events to say thank you to volunteers. We met with volunteers from Voices of Hope, who transformed from a choir into a food hub and who are now using their skills to support people and communities recovering from the effects of Covid. Volunteers were presented with certificates and had a lovely time in the sun reflecting on the last year and a half. We also visited the New Malden vaccination centre where we were even joined by actor, Peter Egan, who helped us present volunteers giving out certificates and saying thank you to volunteers old and new who have been so essential to our gradual return to normal.

At Volunteering Barnet we have also had a lovely Volunteers Week! On Tuesday & Thursday, VB team members Alice, Rachel and Alice G. visited Gateway Pharmacy, Mango Pharmacy, McParland pharmacy and Barnet Food Hub. It was great for the team to have the opportunity to speak to volunteers and hear how much they have enjoyed giving their time. Alice presented all of them with certificates of thanks and heard from the staff how vital their support has been.

At the Barnet Food Hub, Alice and Rachel had a taste of the hard work volunteers undertake regularly when an unexpectedly large delivery meant they were sorting and packing donated food alongside manager Ollie and the volunteers there! Ollie spoke to us about the impact of the Volunteers and how they have been the driving force of progression behind the project!

Throughout the week, Volunteers’ have shared their stories and experience alongside words of thanks from local organisations, showing just how volunteering has helped careers, mental health, community and the environment. Each volunteer received a thank you card to start the week off and the digital party continued through the week on their social channels.

The VB team shared content from across the borough and their partners as part of this years’ Volunteers’ Week special digital campaign, #atimetosaythanks, celebrating Barnet’s thriving volunteer sector and showing gratitude to the thousands of volunteers that have given their time across the borough!

“Overall, this Volunteers’ Week has been a huge success. We have loved being able to see the amazing levels of commitment and passion our volunteers have delivered across the borough. Thank you to everyone involved, including all our staff at Volunteering Barnet. Happy volunteers week 2021!” – Alice, Volunteering Barnet, Volunteering Brokerage Coordinator

Elsewhere, the Legends of the Forest volunteers in Waltham Forest were treated to surprise visits by the Legends staff team at both the Vaccine Site at Chingford Leisure Centre and the Telephone Check in and Chat call centre at the Magistrates. After many months, our Legends staff finally met our volunteers in person and they could properly congratulate the Legends for their efforts.

Twitter was very chirpy too, with clips and posts featuring our Legends in action: https://twitter.com/i/status/1399650719779667969

850 thank you cards were also sent out accompanied by ‘I am a legend of the Forest’ enamel badges to all those who have volunteered since March 2020 to wear with pride!

Meanwhile, with events ground to a halt since the pandemic began in 2020, the Team Westminster Ambassadors haven’t had the involvement across London events that they are so committed to supporting every year. But they have been very busy delivering their Mentors initiative which started to help alleviate stress and isolation between the volunteers during lockdowns. This Volunteers Week, Team Westminster have been looking back at the virtual activity on Zoom which help keep them connected and maintain their unique Ambassador spirit. To say a big thank you to each of them for their ongoing commitment, Team Wesminsters’ Sophie and Meryl delivered a virtual tea party (Zoom capture below) and presented each volunteer with special thank you card filled with goodies!

Team Westminster Active hasn’t had the chance to be as ‘active’ in the last year either with events cancelled and restrictions still in place for some, however, their continued commitment and support across the community and its’ organisations has not gone unnoticed. Enjoy the Volunteers’ Week video that Westminster Actives’ Anna and the team created below to say a big thank you alongside all the organisations across the borough! Well done Team Westminster!

The new-found understanding in the scale of volunteer commitment over the last 12 months has provided new learnings for everyone across the UK. Volunteers across the country have impacted us all in some form; delivering your food or medicines, supporting your neighbours, your medical professionals, pharmacies, befriending those who were isolated, across the overall Covid-19 relief, and that’s all before the ongoing need for support across the many many charities and foundations who rely on volunteers to keep going day-to-day. What has accompanied that commitment is a  bond between volunteer and those receiving assistance like we’ve never seen witnessed as such a public level before. The compassion displayed by those in a position to assist despite their own personal circumstances and challenges presents us all with an inspiring example to follow.

The ongoing challenges of Covid-19 have changed not only the health landscape but also the national psyche, rendering irrelevant forever the stereotypes of what constitutes a volunteer, a professional, or those in need. Class, age, race, gender; whilst all are still important to us in defining and embracing our diversity, volunteers across the board have shown that simple humanity comes to aid when needed, whatever the circumstances that endure.

National Volunteers Week has become more relevant with each passing year, especially when considering the barriers redefined by the pandemic. However, like the way we have overcome the challenges of supporting our communities in both 2020 and 2021, we can, with even more belief in our abilities than ever, make every National Volunteers Week a resounding success!

From Groundwork Londons’ Volunteering Kingston, Volunteering Barnet, Waltham Forest’s Legends’ of the Forest and Team Westminster!

Judith’s story

As we begin to turn the page on the COVID-19 pandemic, we take a moment to hero some of the volunteering champions that have been helping make the national vaccination drive possible. Below is Judith’s story.

When the announcement was made that the New Malden & Worcester Park Primary Care Vaccination Centre had received their first vaccine shipment on 15th January, Judith started volunteering the very next day. A restaurant supervisor with a bubbly personality, back then Judith was on furlough and she was keen to meet new people and gain new skills.

She also saw volunteering as an opportunity to improve her mental health. She describes missing the social element from her regular employment and how its absence had impacted her generally positive outlook on life. “I’m a people person,” she explains.

“I work in a pub and there we get all sorts of people. And to not have that social interaction really put a strain on my mental health.”

Her self-described “dark days” are now well behind her however. “It’s such a positive atmosphere [at the Vaccination Centre]. The Lead GP is always so positive about getting jabs into people’s arms – it really rubs off. And the fact that we’re all really appreciated is probably the best thing,” she reveals, describing coming home after every volunteer shift feeling elated knowing that she’s contributed towards the global effort against COVID-19. Judith also depicts a picture of true camaraderie amongst the volunteers and says she’s developed a true friendship with some of them. “I never thought a lot of us would become so close. I made some fantastic friends.”

It’s probably no surprise she’s connected with so many volunteers considering Judith has taken on a number of different roles since she started volunteering back in January. She’s volunteered as a Traffic & Parking Marshall, a Welcome & Wayfinding Volunteer, she’s been on administrative duties at the check-in desk and even helped at a local surgery to assist with booking patients in to get their vaccines. “As new roles came up I just wanted as much experience as possible,” she explains, adding that it’s allowed her to widen her contact network and enhance her skill set even further.

Now back at her full-time job, Judith hopes to continue volunteering. She describes the experience as fulfilling and heartwarming and recommends others get involved. “I’ve dragged my dad into it,” she says cheerfully.

“He wanted to give back to the community as well, so I dragged him along when there was a gap to fill!”

Would you like to join the Vaccination Programme or volunteer for a local charity? Check out the current openings here.

Want to share your volunteering story? Get in touch!

 

This article was written by Dany Rubbo, Comms Volunteer at Volunteering Kingston.

A Time to Say Thanks

The new normal, particularly as we celebrate National Volunteers Week 2021, seems so near and yet so far away. As life starts to take on a familiar yet still slightly strange feel over the coming late Spring and Summer months, it is time to reflect on something that has made a great impact on communities during the pandemic; the display of the human spirit and the achievements of volunteer contribution.

Achievement might seem a misplaced concept as we enter the 16th month of lockdowns and restrictions, but it does feel a million miles away for the initial fears of furlough, the exhausted medical staff, and the school children whose education has been greatly affected. Whilst a sense of ‘normal’ remains an ambiguous concept to us, particularly when mask-wearing and social distancing still form much of our outdoor expectations, at Volunteering Kingston we want to look beyond our limitations caused by the pandemic. We wish to recognise what has been achieved, by the communities we live in and the voluntary and community sectors, utilising volunteers, which has been at the forefront of the Covid response!

Looking around our local area we quickly start to see the evidence of achievement; the results of human endeavours against the odds. You will see Vaccination Hubs manned by both medical professionals and trained volunteers, you will see delivery services, provided by a partnership of public sector and voluntary groups, for the vulnerable and those still at risk. You will see vital food banks, mental health awareness campaigns, fitness groups doing good work, and the return to nature manifesting itself in clean-up operations run and delivered by local people and volunteers. Most of all, what we see is the inspiring outcomes of the dedicated individuals who ensured their community survives and strives in its’ recovery. What an example of the ultimate achievement of the true human spirit!

We want to say a huge THANK YOU to all our volunteers across Kingston and beyond, for making all the difference in such an unprecedented and challenging chapter!

It has been a great privilege and comfort during this period to see how many people want to come forward to volunteer. We broke all our records for volunteer sign-ups – in January 2021 we had 255 people sign up which well over three times the number of sign-ups in January 2020. Informal groups were set up quickly to deliver food and groceries to those who were self-isolating or shielding, a friendly chat on the phone for people who were lonely. The council, Kingston Voluntary Action and Volunteering Kingston, along with other voluntary sector groups provided support to vulnerable people, with volunteers playing a key part.

We also had groups set up like Sewing for Kingston who have made an astonishing range of items, from PPE at the start during the shortages, to items for newborn babies. A sister group, RBKares was also set in order to support key workers with comforting items to help them during this difficult time. During the very challenging period in January, these items made by and sourced volunteers were an important source of comfort and reassurance for staff at Kingston Hospital.

A huge range of organisations quickly mobilised their volunteers in order to help people from the first wave through to the second and third lockdowns. Despite the continued challenges and change of this period, one thing has been constant: volunteers and volunteer-involving organisations have been here for people in Kingston.

 

To continue to celebrate the work of Volunteering Kingston’s volunteers, we will be celebrating National Volunteers Week 2021 with lots of online content, some surprise location visits (Covid-proof of course) and above all, saying a well-deserved huge thank you to each and every one of our volunteers. Their commitment to each other and our communities has been a driving force in the fight against Covid-19 not only here at home in Kingston but also nationwide. The achievement to come when ‘normal’ finally returns, however it chooses to return, will be even clearer. And that achievement will be in the re-invigorated human spirit that volunteers have displayed and owned in numbers since March 2020, and long may it continue!

Looking forward to new opportunities this Volunteers’ Week

After a tumultuous year and a half, people across Kingston are looking forward to discovering new volunteering opportunities or rediscovering the joy of giving their time. So whether you’re looking forward to restarting your volunteering journey in the new normal or want to start volunteering for the first time, read on to find out how you can get involved.

 

Getting out to nature

We’ve all had a bit of zoom fatigue and we’d love to get out and about in nature. There are loads of volunteering opportunities that help you enjoy the outdoors while also helping protect it for others. You can become a Countryside Volunteer and take part in protecting habitats with a group. It’s led by qualified staff and is a great way to learn about the countryside. Or you can join Citizen Zoo in Surbiton and along the Hogsmill River, and help rewild parts of Kingston.

Search for other roles to support the environment here.

 

Raising money while making friends

Charity shops have been badly affected by the pandemic and they are very keen for more volunteers to use their skills to help sell secondhand items and raise money for good causes.

Looking to rejuvenate your social circle? Then volunteering at a charity shop can be a great way of making friends. Join this friendly Oxfam shop and support people affected by poverty worldwide.

Charity shops are particularly interested in people with special skills or knowledge – perhaps you are a fashionista, an expert in valuable cameras, a music buff or are just great at chatting to customers. Princess Alice Hospice is looking for an avid fashion volunteer and you can apply here.

Charity shops are also great for people who have never volunteered before and want to get more experience before taking on other opportunities. This Oxfam shop takes on volunteers aged 14 plus and requires no experience.

Search for other charity shop roles here.

 

Using professional skills to help charities

As charities recover from this period, they are seeking people with professional skills and some time to give. As a trustee, you will play a key part in the strategic future of organisations. Your professional support, advice and expertise, will benefit a not-for-profit organisation immensely. Find trustee opportunities here.

If you are good with words and understand social media, you can volunteer to help raise the profile of charities, ensuring they get funding and can reach the people who need support. Find marketing volunteer roles here.

 

Bringing people together

If you want to bring people together, you are not alone. There are loads of opportunities for people who want to get back to getting together, with the Save the World club looking to recruit Befrienders for the Covid recovery cafes at venues across Kingston.

If you are interested in other volunteering roles, please search on our website here.

You can also contact us for support to find the right for you.

Making a difference in someone’s life: Natasha’s story

 

An A-level student who wants to pursue a career in medicine, Natasha started volunteering at a local COVID-19 vaccination centre during the Easter holidays. She had some previous volunteering experience in roles facilitated by her school, but when she heard through a family friend that St. Christopher’s Church was opening a vaccination site, she saw it as a great opportunity to help people and also gain some experience in her desired field of study.

At the site, Natasha is part of a small group of volunteers supporting the vaccine roll-out at St. Christopher’s Church. Because it’s a newer site and Natasha joined right at the beginning, she says there’s always been a lot to do, from admin duties like patient bookings and signing people in, helping pharmacists and those administering the vaccine, to writing description sheets that would support volunteers in the execution of their duties.

Initially having signed up for a couple of sessions, she’s been returning ever since. “I really enjoy going there,” says Natasha. “There’s always something to do that I can help with and it’s a nice break from schoolwork and all of that. But I also like to feel like I’m being useful.” Wanting to pursue a career in medicine, it’s probably no surprise that Natasha likes to help people. “It actually brings me joy knowing that I can help people.”

But learning has also been a significant part of her experience. “I learned a lot about the organisation of things,” she explains. “I even learned how to draw syringes, which was pretty cool! But you can really learn all kinds of valuable skills that can apply to what you want to do in life like team working and communicating with different types of people and of all ages.”

Aside from being educational, she also describes the experience as fun and says she enjoys talking to the patients and other volunteers. But most of all Natasha characterises volunteering as being rewarding. “To think that what you do can have a really big impact on someone else is just really rewarding,” she says. “The little things you can do should never be underestimated.”

“There are always opportunities for someone to volunteer and I think anyone has the potential to make someone’s life better. And I think that’s really valuable.”

Do you feel inspired by this story? Would you like to volunteer and help make a difference in your community? Check out the current openings here.

 

This article was written by Dany Rubbo, Comms Volunteer at Volunteering Kingston.

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!

 

Making a difference with a meal

Anna started volunteering with Voices of Hope during lockdown earlier this year. She is a trained chef and after finding herself out of employment, she wanted to make a difference to people who had been disproportionately impacted by the lockdown. She cooked meals that were delivered to people who were usually supported by other services.

As lockdown measures have eased and Voices of Hope (VOH) have been able to reintroduce some of their activities, Anna has continued to volunteer with them. She has especially enjoyed getting involved with the Sisterhood Sanctuary, one of the many community projects run by VOH, for women who have experienced domestic violence, assault, abuse, and mental or physical health challenges. They get together and enjoy different activities such as making cake decorations, beauty treatments and talks from local businesses. Anna cooks lunch for the women at these sessions; she said she loves seeing the impact it has on them.

“Cooking someone a meal makes such a difference”

Do you have a skill that could be beneficial to a local charity? If you’d like help finding a volunteering role, please do get in touch.