Burpham Community Care during coronavirus epidemic

Volunteers’ Week

1st to 7th June was Volunteers’ Week in the UK, an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering.

Thank you from Burpham Community Support

What has it been like for Burpham Community Support during Covid19?
We have had contact with nearly 100 people seeking help since we began, many on several occasions. Initially many people were seeking information and signposting and we quickly pulled together a resource list of local suppliers and services. Requests then gathered pace for prescription collections, and this settled so we are now primarily collecting from one or two chemists for a few people. We did several shops for people early on and this has again settled to regular shops for a few people. We have built up a system of using one or two volunteers for each person and supportive relationships have developed which we feel has helped those who are more isolated. Many parts of our community are supporting each other without our intervention, which is wonderful to hear about.

We had a tremendous response from people offering to volunteer which was really humbling. We were able to use some early on to put a publicity postcard through every door. We have used a core group of about 30 volunteers although we have a large reserve list if needed.

Stories from some of our volunteers

“All the people we have helped have been very grateful and interesting conversations have developed with volunteers over shared interests.
For me volunteering has been great during lockdown it has helped vulnerable people in the community and hopefully brought the community a little closer together. I have actually spoken to my neighbours!”

Andrew Carr

“It’s amazing how simple things make such a big difference to people. Volunteering helps us all to feel part of the community we live in. A smile from a volunteer stops the world seem so scary.” Helen Norman
“I feel part of the community when I volunteer and I know the people I am helping like that we can also talk about our local area together.”

Penny Arney

“It’s a good feeling knowing I have helped someone. It made me feel useful at a time when it was so hard to know what I could do to help make things better.”

Lucy Reeves

“I offered to volunteer as I had the time and resources to help someone who was confined to their homes and I wanted to help.”

Lesley Worrall

“I think volunteering is a great opportunity to show that you care, especially at a time when people may feel most alone.”

Rebecca Mann

“I have been shopping a couple of times a week for 2 gentlemen, both of whom live alone and are shielding. There are volunteers in Portsmouth who are doing the same for my mother in law so I am pleased to be able to repay the favour by helping people locally.”

Teresa Male

“I think volunteering has been helpful 1. Obviously to those who couldn’t otherwise get their shopping or medicine 2. By giving the volunteers a sense of purpose 3. By helping more of the community it feels like a true community rather than just separate people who happen to live here.”

Andy Clapham

“I guess if I’m to simplify why I volunteer, is that I want those in our communities who need to stay home to feel safe and protected and to know they always have someone to call upon. Before Coronavirus hit I felt I knew a lot of people in our local community, but actually I realised quite quickly that I didn’t, being part of the volunteering has meant I have met some lovely new people and I am looking forward to meeting and helping more.”

Clare Ferris

A message of thanks for our volunteers during Volunteers Week

We are extremely grateful to each and every volunteer. Even if we have not used you knowing we had you available took a lot of pressure from the organisers who had stepped out of their normal work into this new scheme at extremely short notice. Volunteers have all been patient, willing and it is a joy to get to know you.

Thank you so much from Burpham Community Action, Burpham Church and all of us in Burpham.

Contact us for help:

07880 586455 (All day, every day)
support@burphamca.org.uk
01493 825533 (Burpham Church office hours)
www.burphamchurch.org.uk
or www.burphamca.org.uk

Liz, Gracie, Lisa, Marcelle and Ann your Burpham Community Support Co-ordinators.

 

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Burpham Community Care during coronavirus epidemic

This scheme is an outstanding example of community groups working together and our neighbourhood volunteering to look after each other.

Within a week Burpham Church and Burpham Community Association had joined forces, set up a small team and put a postcard through every door in Burpham offering support through the weeks of this epidemic.

We have had over 200 people offering to volunteer which has been staggering and we now, unfortunately, need to turn volunteers away. It has been so heartening to see how people generously want to help others. We can never thank each volunteer enough and we really do not want people to be disheartened if we do not use them. Unfortunately, we have had little demand for dog walking despite this being the most popular request from volunteers.

As of the middle of April we have had sixty requests for direct help. This has involved shopping, collecting prescriptions and one dog to be walked. We have signposted many people to local delivery services and other sources of advice. We have established a system of telephone support to check our growing group of people who need a bit more than a simple task being done. We ensure all the correct safeguards are in place to protect those asking for help and our volunteers. People have contacted us from all over the country to ask for help for their relatives and friends living locally.

We are also hearing of amazing road groups keeping an eye on each other. Please let us know about you so we do not duplicate the great local networks.

We have put long lost friends in touch after someone contacted us about the whereabouts of their neighbour from 50 years ago and heard some great tales about Burpham in the process. We have responded to calls from East Anglia to look after an aunt. We have listened to people’s concerns and provided listening ears and contact. We have had numerous messages of gratitude for our wonderful volunteers.

We are very keen to ensure we are reaching people who need us. Please spread the word and remind neighbours who maybe alone of any age, maybe lone parents struggling to shop with young children or families self-isolating and not sure how to get food and other essential supplies.

Contact us for help:

07880 586455 (All day, every day)
support@burphamca.org.uk
01493 825533 (Burpham Church office hours)
www.burphamchurch.org.uk
or www.burphamca.org.uk

Liz, Gracie, Lisa, Marcelle and Ann your Burpham Community Support Co-ordinators.