28th May 2020
Time to take stock, hot meals, sunflower fun and numerous thanks!
TIME TO TAKE STOCK
Some of our wonderful District Coordinators and volunteers have mentioned that everything has gone a bit quiet out there. The initial push to prepare our community to face this challenge has perhaps subsided a bit and some of the unknowns have revealed themselves in terms of scale and pace of the virus here in Dorset. Whilst we would hope this lull continues it may be prudent to use this quieter moment to reflect on the way in which we have responded so far, the experience of our volunteers and those they are helping and where we go from here. So, as our volunteers on the ground, we want your insights! Do you feel well enough supported to provide help to those who need it? If not, what could be done to help support you further? Are there any particular areas you think the network should focus on providing support for going forward? What need do you see arising in your local area? What is the most positive or useful thing about the network? Would you be interested in expanding on this in the future? Please let us know!
You may have heard by now but there are a couple of great food projects happening in the local area! One is the provision of recipe bags through the Friendly Food Club and the other is the providing of hot meals by the Swanage School. Both these projects are doing excellent work and have been reaching out through the school networks to reach those who need them. If you know of anyone on your street who could benefit from being put in touch with these wonderful service please email us and we will help you connect them with the right people.
For something a little fun our Swanage Central District Coordinator, Sarah Brookes, is running a sunflower growing competition, complete with trophy prizes! You can get involved through the Swanage Home Produce Swap Facebook page!
DORSET VOLUNTEER CENTRE THANKS, NEW WEBSITE AND OTHER GOOD THINGS! We want to pass onto you the thanks we have received from the Dorset Volunteer Centre! They wanted to let us know that along with the 180 other mutual aid groups in Dorset, we have made a huge difference at this difficult time - you have all been a part of something extraordinary and hopefully something that will leave a positive legacy after these hard times ease. They also wanted to acknowledge everyone who volunteered and found themselves on "standby" but perhaps without anything immediate to do - this is almost the hardest thing but it means that the network has some extra capacity in it and can be mobilised quickly and flexibly, and a very valuable contribution in itself! Other recent positives include using the network to help home an NHS worker moving here from out of area and we had and amazing 13 people step forward to volunteer to help with the dog walking request in our last newsletter. The gentleman is very pleased and has started with 5 or 6 people on a rota and if any of them can't continue we have the flexibility to swap in other people and keep providing that support. In order to better be able to communicate what we as a group are doing and to have all of our volunteer resources in one easy to access place we are putting together a website with the help of our wonderful IT support, Olly Christmas. Hopefully we'll be able to point you towards that really soon! As ever please do keep sending us your volunteer bios - it does everyone in the community good to see your smiling faces!