Each year more than 200 people generously volunteer with us to ensure we are able to provide information, advice and support to unpaid family and friend carers when they need it. This Volunteers Week (1st – 7th June) - and throughout the year – we want to let our wonderful volunteers know how much we appreciate what you do for us.
Despite us being unable to hold face to face celebration events and recruitment activities, due to COVID-19, we still want to recognise the valued role our volunteers play in making carers count.
Some of our volunteers have kindly shared their experience of volunteering with us, particularly during the COVID-19 lockdown, and we wanted to share some of these with you.
Rosie Chisnell, who has been a volunteer for approaching three years, since she retired, supports us as a Mentor and assists the Bereavement Group. She said: “During the lockdown I’ve provided more support over the telephone. I am pleased to be able to offer my time to those in need during these difficult days, and to provide the carers with support that they so very much need. I’ve taken on more contacts and had to master new IT skills, which has been challenging!”
She continued: “Being a volunteer with Carers in Hertfordshire is rewarding. It enables me to offer support to carers during difficult times and if the little bit of help I can offer them helps them to cope, then I am pleased to have been able to make a small contribution towards their health and wellbeing.”
Dave Manser, who has been volunteering with us for over four years, initially as a Mentor and gradually taking on a range of roles, including Leader of the Bishop’s Stortford Carers Support Hub. Dave said: “I’ve been contacting carers by phone rather than meeting face to face, particularly supporting people who look after a relative with dementia. These carers have found it hard looking after their family member with dementia as they often don’t understand what’s going on. People have said the support I’ve given has been useful and appreciated.”
Mandy Preedy, who has been a volunteer with us since 2016 and helps us with admin, as an Ambassador and Mentor for carers, said: “I’ve been making keep in touch calls to carers and it’s been interesting. Volunteering with Carers in Hertfordshire has given me the opportunity to learn new skills, meet a variety of people and learn about help available to unpaid carers to pass on. You are kind and I feel well supported with excellent training opportunities.”
Alex Daar, our Volunteer Manager, said: “Thank you to all our volunteers - those at home assisting us in supporting carers via phone, letter or email and those who cannot help at this time – thank you for your patience. We look forward to meeting up or working with you again once restrictions are lifted.”
If you’re not already a volunteer, but are interested in supporting us, your help is needed too!
Alex said: “Whether you can spare a few hours each week or just help occasionally we would love to hear from you as we have a range of roles to fill or ways you can help.”
We are particularly looking for volunteers to support bereaved carers and have some Hub Leader or joint Leader roles to fill for when our face to face Hub meetings can resume.
For more information about volunteering with us please email or call us on 01992 58 69 69. You can also visit the volunteer pages to learn more.