At Quorum we understand the power of community and how working in collaboration with those around us can have a positive impact in many different ways.
Given the challenges that so many people have faced over the past 12 months, there can be no better time to venture into the world of volunteering to help others within our local community. However busy our days and weeks may be, volunteering a little bit of time to assist someone in need is a rewarding endeavour.
That is why we have recently started helping the North Tyneside charity VODA, which works to support and develop the voluntary and community sector. We are spreading the word about the great work that VODA do and encouraging staff at Quorum, who may be furloughed or working from home, to get involved with this great cause.
VODA runs a Good Neighbours project which recruits, trains and supports volunteers to undertake a variety of practical tasks commonly associated with those carried out by a ‘good neighbour’. From telephone befriending to helping run errands or assistance with shopping, no long-term commitment is needed from volunteers, just the desire to help local people who need it. Volunteers for the Good Neighbours project receive all the necessary training and support, as well as connecting with other volunteers to discuss their roles and share experiences.
One of our Quorum volunteers is Tracy Lynch, Head of Greggs Foundation, who began volunteering in response to lockdown after finding she was not able to engage with others on a day-to-day basis. Tracy explains: “When we first went into lockdown I suddenly found myself working out of my spare bedroom and doing everything via screen meetings. I missed people! I happened to join a webinar where VODA were sharing the benefits of volunteering and encouraging businesses to get their people away from their desks for a couple of hours a week and I realised that was exactly what I needed.
“A few of my colleagues joined me in delivering care packages to isolated children. I have since done a Christmas food parcels delivery and I am now a weekly volunteer at a vaccine centre.
“I was so lucky in my role with Greggs Foundation, that before Covid I would get to meet lots of great organisations and see the work they did in their communities. Having moved to the North East only last year, volunteering has helped me to feel part of my new community and I have loved meeting other volunteers. Getting out of my home office always has a really positive effect on me, even if it’s only for a couple of hours and especially when it involves doing something for someone else. It’s been absolutely lovely helping all the old folks, some of whom haven’t been out since last March.”
VODA’s Sector Connector Manager, Ian Dodds added: “We are incredibly pleased to have had a number of people who work at Quorum come forward to help us in voluntary roles.
“Over the next couple of months, we will be looking for people who can give some time tobe digital buddies, befrienders and walking buddies for those who have been isolating. There are so many benefits to volunteering – it is a great way to give some of your time and skills for the benefit of others, but also a fantastic way to learn new skills. At the moment there are some people with a little bit more time on their hands and those who need a helping hand, so we would encourage anyone interested in volunteering to get in touch with us.”