Making An Impact
Making an impact : volunteering
This is the first of a new series of more in-depth features to get under the skin of our work, how it makes a difference and the people who make it happen.
We will kick it off by looking at the impact of our volunteering. But, perhaps surprisingly, we will tell the story of one of our volunteers and how they have benefited rather than one of the recipients of their work.
Volunteering is vital in helping us achieve so much more than we could if just had our own employees. There are currently 84 volunteers on our roster (compared to 46 staff), helping on a regular basis at times, locations and in ways which suit them and their goals. Since April this year, volunteers have collectively provided nearly 10,000 hours of time.
June (pictured) has been a volunteer at our Social Supermarket since October 2022. The role has helped her feel she can achieve anything! And, of course, along the way, many of the members of our Social Supermarket have benefited too.
June spoke to us and explained her journey, the challenges she's faced and the way that volunteering with The Feed has helped to transform her life.
"When my girls were at school, I didn't have too much to focus on. To be honest, I spent most of the day in bed. My mood was low, and I had nothing to occupy my time other than the school run. I didn't realise it wasn't normal. It was when a social worked suggested I speak to my GP, that this started to change. They prescribed medication and signposted me to some wellbeing services. I enrolled at college and completed my Maths and English GCSEs. After facing some challenging family situations, I relocated to Norwich."
keen to get out of the four walls and do something for myself
June wasn't working when she got in touch with us as she was spending most of her time being a carer for her husband and looking after her stepchildren. She described how she was "keen to get out of the four walls and do something for myself." She added "I've had a lot of support in my life and I wanted to be able to do that for others and gain a bit more confidence in my own life."
Having contacted our Volunteer Coordinator Scott, he organised the relevant training for June to take on a role at our Social Supermarket. It's a place where we provide low-cost groceries to over 5,000 people who can't afford enough food. June settled in well, stocking the shelves, assisting customers and organising the incoming food deliveries. She's noticed that her confidence has grown, helped by receiving compliments from customers "that certainly makes me feel good."
June has seen many benefits from volunteering and has decided she'd now like to secure a paid role working with people with learning difficulties, something she has struggled with herself. The new skills and confidence she's gained put June in a strong position to find the job she wants.
We wish June all the best on the next stage of her journey and thank her for all she has done for our Social Supermarket members.
To find out more about volunteering with The Feed head to our website here.
You can email too: email@example.com