The role of our volunteers has been turned on its head due to Covid. From pausing regular volunteering activities, to taking up new responsibilities altogether, our service provision in the community has been bolstered by our wonderful army of volunteers.
Below we hear from one such dedicated individual – Susan Matus – on how the pandemic has affected her role with The Fed.
What is your current position at The Fed?
How did your involvement as a volunteer with The Fed begin?
When I retired, I wanted to do some volunteer work – and what better organisation is there to volunteer with?
Prior to Covid-19, what were your main volunteering roles and responsibilities?
I was involved with organising the monthly Thursday Coffee Stop at Maccabi. I phoned all the clients to invite them, which was a really nice full day’s job speaking to more than 50 clients.
What is lovely is that even if they could not attend the Coffee Stop it gave them a nice friendly call from The Fed. On the day of the Coffee Stop, I helped with the afternoon tea – but more importantly got to chat with many of the clients. This would sometimes highlight problems that they were struggling with in day to day to life, information I could then pass back to the Volunteer Services team.
Through this simple act of friendship and conversation, we could make a difference to Fed clients.
With the onset of the pandemic, we know that many of our volunteers saw their work with The Fed come to a halt. How was your volunteering impacted, and what are your duties now?
Well… no more Coffee Stops!
I was given a list of 17 clients who I now phone every Monday. This call is firstly to see if they need a volunteer to go shopping for them that week, but also means that those 17 clients are getting a weekly call – in some cases the only call they may receive.
I have forged a wonderful relationship with my clients over the last year – they now all recognise my voice and are expecting my call. As many of these people have not been out of their homes for 12 months this call has been vital. I send a full report back to the Volunteer Services team who then deal so brilliantly with any problems.
Before becoming a volunteer, what did you know of The Fed and Heathlands Village?
My mother lived in Eventhall House for many years, and so my relationship with the organisation goes back many years.
Favourite holiday destination (for the future!)
Mallorca – hopefully in July where we plan to have our daughter’s wedding – only one year later than planned!
Favourite film or TV show?
Strictly Come Dancing
What are your hobbies/what do you do in your spare time?
Pilates, Walking, Bridge.
Describe The Fed in less than 30 words
I don’t need 30 words. Two will do –
Why is The Fed important to you?
As all volunteers know, we get so much out of volunteering ourselves. It is definitely a two-way process. We receive ourselves, and we make a difference to so many lives.