With our Welcome Home band of volunteers, we try and organise meet ups where current volunteers and new recruits can attend and share their Welcome Home experiences and knowledge.
We have held two of these meet ups – one in the East in Liskeard and another more Westerly in Truro. It is always tricky getting all our volunteers together on a certain day.
We wanted to make the most of the opportunity by supplying copious amounts of leaflets on services/organisations and agencies that might prove helpful when visiting a client. As a countywide scheme we rely on our volunteers to have local knowledge that might be useful for our clients.
Another topic on the agenda was a discussion about the current forms we ask volunteers to complete. Is the layout suitable, too wordy, are the headings relevant etc. As with most discussions there was not a unanimous agreement, so we have opted for two versions of our Independence Action Plan in an attempt to please everyone. We have added a landscape version to the original portrait one.
When coordinating a scheme such as Welcome Home I can’t emphasise the importance of the role the Volunteers undertake. Without them we have no scheme to offer. We rely on them to be available at short notice and to basically go and support a complete stranger who may live a far distance away in interesting circumstances. And sometimes to complete more random requests that don’t really come under the Welcome Home remit i.e. moving beds, furniture and feeding cats. Luckily it is in the nature of our Volunteers to just say yes and come to the rescue.
I always like to think that a client is more grateful to a Volunteer that has given up their own time to help them out and is not paid to be there.
In that vein I thought I would share some of the feedback we have had from clients, highlighting the difference the service has made to their lives:
"They were very helpful when I needed them most. Would have been lost with out them. Thank you so much."
"I do not know how I would have managed without your help."
"Your service has been a God send and helped me through a difficult time. Thank you."
"Not only was the shopping support such a help but the fact that someone was caring for the 'carer', for me as a carer meant a great deal."
"Been very pleased with the help given and sharing a cup of tea."
"Would have liked the service to have been for longer but realise so many want help"
"Welcome Home is a wonderful idea. I had read about it and now I have sampled how it works. It is a most impressive, valuable and helpful scheme in extending a hand at a low or difficult time and helping me through that."
As you can see the service is much appreciated and needed. We are making a difference.
We run the Welcome Home scheme in partnership with the Red Cross so between us we have roughly 50 Volunteers covering the county giving practical support and reassurance that the clients are not on their own when they leave hospital.