Volunteers' Week 1 - 7 June
It’s here! Happy Volunteers’ Week everyone! We have so much planned this week, from thanking our volunteers individually, and sharing our appreciation across social media, to introducing some of our volunteers to you, so you can hear why they love volunteering. It’s going to be a great week!
“There's a party goin' on right here
A celebration to last throughout the years
So bring your good times and your laughter too
We gonna celebrate your party with you
Come on now, Celebration.” Credit - Kool & The Gang
"I have been a volunteer Befriender with BucksVision for 17 years, visiting visually impaired people in their homes for a friendly chat once or twice a month. Being visually impaired can be very isolating, so my visits are always much appreciated and enjoyed. When I took on the role, little did I know I would get as much pleasure from my visits as I give to those I visit. Giving just an hour or two of my time each month to help alleviate their loneliness and feeling of isolation is extremely rewarding.” Christine Lewis, Befriender.
Did you know '31% of blind and partially sighted people are rarely, or never, optimistic about the future and only 17% of people experiencing sight loss are offered emotional support in relation to their deteriorating vision.' Credit – RNIB.
Befrienders like Christine really do make a difference.
How can we define a powerful statement like ‘thank you’? The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as a phrase “to tell someone that you are grateful because they have given you something or done something for you.” There are many ways to say, ‘thank you’, however these two timeless words, during such an exceptionally difficult year, do not feel sufficient to express our thanks to all our volunteers, to those who over the past 15 months of the pandemic have provided essential help to blind and partially sighted people living in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes, and to those who have not been able to volunteer with us because of the situation.
“This is my third-year volunteering with BucksVision at Stoke Mandeville hospital within the eye clinic department. I enjoy the contact with people, offering help and advice on eye and vision impaired related issues. Being able to assist with advice, information and useful aids following a diagnosis or eye related procedure, at what is a very stressful time for patients, is very rewarding.”
Hospital appointments can be challenging for blind and partially sighted people. Eye Clinic Information Volunteers like Mark, offer advice, support, and companionship before and after eye clinic appointments.
Hours and Hours
We have an inspiring team of volunteers, 269 in fact. If we added together the volunteer hours generously given each year, we could travel the circumference of the earth approximately 253 times (based on an average of 4 hours per month per volunteer). What an incredible gift!
“I have been a volunteer for BucksVision for about 3 years. My main role is as a Reader, reading any material the client wants, but more recently with the pandemic, I have taken on the role of Telephone Befriending. I can honestly say I really enjoy both roles and I probably get the same if not more satisfaction from volunteering than the client. I feel like what I do is so minute, but the impact it has is great and for that reason alone I truly recommend anyone who has a spare hour or so a week to give your time to help others with this fantastic charity.”
40% of blind and partially sighted people said that information from health providers was never accessible and 28% said information from banks was never accessible. Being able to read, whether books for pleasure, packaging on food and medicine, or information about health appointments, is important (credit RNIB). Readers like Chantelle make it possible for clients to get access to books, newspapers, and magazines, and keep up to date with their weekly post.
Volunteers' Week - message of thanks
Whilst we can't meet face to face, the BucksVision Team personally wanted to thank our most valued volunteers, and to share messages from our members. You can watch the video on our YouTube channel.
Have you been inspired by Volunteers’ Week and think volunteering is right for you? Visit our Volunteering page for more information or talk to Samantha, our Volunteer Manager on 01296 487 556.