This week is Volunteers’ Week, and another fantastic opportunity to say thank you to all our amazing volunteers.
Despite the recent challenges of lockdowns and the Coronavirus outbreak, our volunteers have continued to safely connect with and support our customers.
We also launched our Digi Friends project, which offered our customers free training to get online and to use digital devices. Over 45 of our customers have achieved their goal to feel confident online – learning everything from video calling, to applying for jobs, to online shopping – and part of this success is as a result of the friendly support and encouragement from our volunteers. We’ll be working with more of our customers over the next few months.
We’re very proud to introduce you to some of our volunteers below. Find out more about our volunteer opportunities.
Hannah, our Systems Training Partner, has been supporting customers on the Digi Friends project. This is Hannah and Stuart – Stuart took part in Digi Friends to improve his digital skills. After realising Stuart’s device wasn’t the best for him, we provided him with a new one and Hannah will be supporting him to use it. She said…
“Being a Digi Friend is brilliant. I really enjoy catching up with my customers and hearing about their week and how they are putting their digital skills to good use! The greatest joy is helping customers to connect with their family and friends online and be able to see the person they’re speaking to.”
Lewis started volunteering with us a Peer Support volunteer, and has since shared his time and skills in a few different roles. We asked him more about his experience and what he’s enjoyed…
“Volunteering over the past year has been challenging at times, but with the support, insight and learning I have received from everyone I have worked with, and the great customers I have been involved with, these challenges were met.”
“My confidence has improved as I have taken on different volunteering opportunities within the organisation, and I was recently accepted onto the Non-Executive Board (in a placement capacity) which I’m very excited about!”
Jasmine has also volunteered on our Digi Friends project. She shares more about why she wanted to volunteer, and what she’s learned.
“I wanted to volunteer as I felt it would be a productive way to spend my spare time during what has been a very challenging year for many people. When I came across Digi Friends I was immediately interested as I’d never quite seen a volunteering scheme before like it! I felt digital inclusion was an area where I could really make an impact and enjoy helping others, while also feeling safe through doing it all online or over the phone.
The thing I find most enjoyable about volunteering is how impactful the work can be to both the customers, and to volunteers themselves. Through helping others and catering to their different needs and requests, you’re also constantly learning new things and improving your approach, making it very beneficial to everyone involved.”
Nick found out about our volunteering opportunities from Tony Stacey, our Chief Executive. They were talking about Nick’s recent retirement, and Tony mentioned our Digi Friends project as he thought that Nick would enjoy it and be a brilliant fit. Nick told us more about starting a new volunteer role during lockdown…
“I started my role as a volunteer in February, during the latest lockdown, which made it quite challenging. I was required to provide support over the phone and customers were using lots of different devices that I hadn’t seen before. It was difficult to talk customers through how to do things when I sometimes couldn’t visualise what was being displayed on their device, but I kept going and I’ve had lots of highlights during my time with the team.
It’s been good to work with a variety of customers and help them to develop different digital skills. I think it’s fantastic that we’ve also been able to gift people devices and connectivity, so they can get online and keep in touch with their nearest and dearest.”