Volunteer to Develop your skills
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Pandemic Volunteering Stories – Christine, Volunteer with Aspire Creating Communities

I retired at Christmas 2019 and started volunteering with Aspire in January. Aspire runs a network for communities over 55 years old living in Kirklees. We usually run group sessions for 10-15 people, but with the groups unable to meet because of Covid we have been offering 1-2-1 support including chats on the phone or doorstep. I am meeting less people but have more communication with the beneficiaries that I am connected with. I make 6 phone calls every fortnight. I have also delivered 6 craft bags once a month for over a year, so that’s approx. 80 craft bags! The bags might include books, word searches colouring etc and our newsletter, then themed crafts such as felting, pottery, health and beauty pamper packs and people choose which themed craft bag they would like. All the instructions and materials for the craft activity are included. Clients send photos of what they have made, and these are included in our newsletter.

What have you found rewarding or memorable about your experience?

I am meeting less people but have more communication with the beneficiaries I am connected with. I also have a chat to members on their doorstep when I deliver the bags and they have become like friends. It’s lovely, I’ve always liked meeting people and chatting and listening to them, I was a counsellor for years. It is so important for people who are isolated to have someone who is interested in them. I have worked all my life and volunteering gives me a sense of purpose and being useful, having a role and identity. It gives me something to think about and look outside of myself which is good for my mental health. I am looking forward to being able to meet up at the groups again, some of the ladies will feel cautious at first, but it will be lovely to finally get together indoors.

Find out more

To find out more about Aspire Creating Communities please visit: https://www.aspirecreatingcommunities.org.uk/

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Covid-Safe Volunteering

If you are volunteering in lockdown, please make sure that you are staying safe and are up-to-date with the current rules and guidance.

From 29th March, you should continue to volunteer from home where possible unless you cannot reasonably do so. You can leave home to volunteer if you are not required to isolate for any reason. Please make sure that you are following the guidelines to stay safe.

From 12th April, we move to Step 2 of the Government's lockdown easing roadmap.  This is when charity shops, libraries, and community centres can reopen, and cafes can serve people outside, which will mean that more people will be volunteering outside their homes and we may start to get more new volunteering opportunities.

If you are looking for a volunteering role, please visit our I Want To Volunteer page.

Find out more about the lockdown rules for volunteering