Wraysbury Volunteers Update
Update by Janet Crame on the recent activities of Wraysbury & Horton Volunteers.
Media & PR: Firstly, here is our new logo (thanks to Glyn) and car poster in use already for volunteers taking shopping, meals on wheels and prescriptions.
Carly has created a new Facebook site for public viewing of Wraysbury & Horton Voluntary Care which includes information on how to contact us. This is in parallel to Wraysbury.com which is Simon’s new web site covering all aspects of Village Life and of course reference to what we are doing.
Henry Perez has been presenting a short video every week for Facebook and talking on Swan Radio, aimed initially at the Coffee Morning attendees, but also promoting the work we do and how to help.
Carly also received a donation of 500 protective seat covers and gloves for our use. These are with Helen and Simon so if you need some, please contact either.
Volunteers: The letters from the Chairs of Wraysbury & Horton Parish Councils have mainly now been delivered in both Villages. The remaining few will be done early next week. Dianne has managed to persuade a number of new volunteers to deliver these, as well as the stalwarts!
As a result of the recent promotion of the WHVC volunteer form and helpline over the last couple of weeks, we have received a total of 43 new volunteers from the two villages offering their help. This means that our total number of volunteers is now over 60!
We currently have the following volunteers allocated to hubs;
Pharmacy – Lead Coordinator Simon + 4
Shopping Hub – Lead Coordinator Helen + 8 at present, about to be expanded to 15 this week
WHVC helpline – Lead Coordinator Tim + 2
WHVC drivers – Lead Coordinator Tim + 3
Pastoral Care – Lead Coordinator Erica + 8
Meals on Wheels – Lead Coordinator Janet + 4
Payments and Accounts – Lead Coordinator Stuart + 1
The Wraysbury Matters Team, and of course Simon, have helped to provide guidance and advice on how to carry out their work. This has made a huge difference to confidence and the quality of what we do.
Finance (includes hardship): We have provided requested information on our activities and volunteer numbers to RBWM. Stuart then obtained a grant of £500 from them. Parochial Charities have kindly donated the funds for a new freezer (see Meals on Wheels below) and other donations have been received from generous benefactors in the Village.
We have now obtained a ‘square’ payment method which enables us to take payment for e.g. meals on wheels or to provide cash where needed by people who are self-isolating.
From now on, wherever possible payments will go through St. Michael’s PCC, rather than the Pharmacy to alleviate some of the pressure on Simon, although they will still take payments there if needs be.
Shopping: Helen has received 25 calls, and she and her team have made 17 shopping trips. Have been liaising with Pastoral group so that all callers to WHVC are on our radar.
Shopping also provides some pastoral care (not intentionally but because we are there). Most of our customers want to chat on the phone when placing their orders + delivering the shopping often takes a while as we are possibly the only people our customers have seen that day so again, they want a chat. But this is all part of the service.
The procedures that have been put in place seem to be working well.
Future developments being worked on (depending on how the general situation develops & therefore how demand for shopping changes) are:
- using online shopping for larger orders
- setting up a local hub in Horton
All shopping hub volunteers are doing a grand job.
Helpline: ..is really busy. Tim and Carolyn answering up to 25 calls a day! All have either been answered directly or passed to one of the co-ordinators and also to Pastoral Care. A range of questions from foodbank queries to new volunteers and everything in between.
Pastoral Care: Erica and team are phoning all the people we know about on a regular basis and this seems to be a lifeline to many people. In the last three weeks they have been in contact by phone with 32 Wraysbury residents –
some of whom have come via JC, Dianne and Helen, some by word of mouth
We have set up 23 regular contacts with residents – usually on a weekly or twice weekly basis.
Most residents, on the whole, seem grateful for the contact and are happy to have someone to talk to. At present we are coping with 8 volunteers but may need extra if call for support increases
The Pastoral Care volunteers are a very caring group of women who are doing a marvellous job
Meals on Wheels : We now have 12 people receiving meals on wheels. We are providing food seven days a week to 4 on the list and can do so for others if needs be. We have received donations of strawberries from the Vicar – via a bishop I believe – which were very well received. The leftovers are now jam. I am delighted to say that a team of wonderful pudding makers some of whom are brand new to Voluntary Care have stepped up and I find new creations on my kitchen table most days.
We have had a freezer crisis which was temporarily resolved by Dave Francis thanks to Carly’s speedy FB entry, and Stuart has obtained a grant towards a new commercial freezer which I hope arrives tomorrow. In the meantime, Aaron in the Post Office has kindly given me freezer space.
Food bank – we have delivered 1 food parcel to a family. But I have since discovered that people who use food banks are recommended to them via social services. So, I contacted them to find out whether we have or should have any formal recipients in either Village.
NHS Food Parcels are something different. As far as we can find out, there is a register of vulnerable people held by the NHS – not by the surgery – and they identify and allocate food parcels. Carolyn and Erica are looking into it further. There should not be any charge for these if people do receive them.
The local Police Community Officers have been in touch directly. PCO Les Bradfield is currently self-isolating and can’t wait to get back to us. We can contact either of them if we want to report something or ask for help.
Facemasks – following investigations and discussions with medical and viral experts, Benta has started making facemasks. These are not 100% as effective as NHS masks, but do provide a good deal of protection and can be washed and re-used. She has already provided them to the Post Office and Horton shop both of whom are very grateful. I am hoping that she will encourage her stitchers to produce more of these soon so they can be made more generally available.
Thank you to everyone who is working so hard to keep all this going.