Volunteer ExperienceOur main priority is to ensure a positive experience for our volunteers which will then result in a positive outcome for the client. There is no ‘one size fits all’ type of match placement. We aim to ensure the placement can fit around the volunteer’s personal commitments.
The possibilities are wide-ranging and we are always open to ideas on how we can enhance the volunteer experience to be able to meet our clients’ needs.
Below are some examples of current activities Reach Out volunteers undertake:
Pet SupportSeveral volunteers are supporting Reach Out clients to take their dogs out for walks. A volunteer can take the lead so that the Reach Out client can use their walking stick or frame. The volunteers are able to support the client and the dog. Volunteers can also walk a client’s dog for them whilst they are recovering from injury or illness
Support with technologyVolunteers are helping clients to set up and use mobile phones and IT to stay in contact with friends and family who are not local or who live abroad. Volunteers can also help older people who are hard of hearing to use phones to send texts.
Tackling lonelinessMany of our clients say that they have been feeling lonely or isolated since they became unwell. Reach Out volunteers are able to support them by visiting them for a cuppa and a chat. Our clients report that the visits from their volunteer have helped them to feel less isolated and have been supportive in improving feelings of self-worth and mental wellbeing
Flexible volunteeringSome of our volunteers work full time or have family commitments. Reach Out offers varied match placements and can find an appropriate client match where this won’t be an issue. Some placements are for companionship and on weeks where they can’t visit our volunteers have found that just a phone call can make a huge difference.
Elsie lives alone and was recovering from surgery. She wasn’t able to get out and was feeling desperately lonely and isolated. Her family all live a long way away and she can go for days without seeing or speaking anyone. She is hard of hearing and so struggled to keep in contact with relatives by phone. Elsie said that she missed having someone to talk to. We introduced her to Denise who visits her once a week. They have a cuppa and a chat and Denise helps Elsie to water her house plants.
Elsie says that Denise has been so kind and helpful, and she really looks forward to her visits. Denise loves spending time with Elsie and says she always leaves her smiling as they have such a nice time together. She says that it helps her as much as it helps Elsie.
*Based on a real Reach Out match - names and circumstances have been changed to protect confidentiality