Young Mel* called to offer to “help during these messy times” as she thinks about her nan in NZ and the elderly in the community that struggle with getting to the shops. Tim* called to offer the use of his ute and trailer to deliver necessary goods to those in need. Ken* dropped in to our office looking to “making an impact” through volunteering.
Volunteer West endeavours to channel this spirit of generosity of as much as we can. We continue to support our community members who have expressed interest in volunteering through conversations over the phone and emails. We will add and share resources to our website to better facilitate online engagement and communication. Our office is closed due to lockdown measures now in place.
Social distancing measures mean that volunteering opportunities that rely on face-to-face time may not go ahead and organisations need time to adapt their programs. During this time we ask for your patience throughout the volunteering matching process. We acknowledge that volunteers may not be able to engage in activities that had desired; and equally, new volunteers emerge to give what they can where needed.
As we are called upon to play out part to make the biggest impact by staying at home and practicing physical distancing, there are actions we can take to sustain our social connectedness and mental wellbeing:
– Drop a note in your neighbours’ letterboxes to say you can help, such as calling once-a-week to check-in or keep each other company
– Start or join a local social media group (eg Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter etc) focused on providing support to each other
– Share mental health support resources
– Virtual playgroup sessions: Host a play-date with online video conferencing tools such as Zoom or Skype.
One lesson I’ve learnt from this pandemic is that as one individual, I can make a big difference to the health of the community by breaking the chain of transmission. Each one of us can make a difference with acts of kindness that will ripple through the community. We will pull through this together.
Thu-Trang Tran | CEO
23 March 2020