Lockdown volunteering stories from the r10 people

The outbreak of COVID-19 is affecting us all, and more significantly the vulnerable and less privileged of our community. Besides, the necessary health support, isolation left many around us without access to necessities and in need of both financial and psychological support.

Supporting each other and giving back to the community is more important than ever. While working remotely, many of us at r10 are finding a new balance of supporting our loved ones and the community around us. There are some volunteering stories within the r10 team that we are proud of, and we want to celebrate the actions of our people.

Helen Dines, Associate Director

“r10 have very kindly allowed me to have some extra time to continue my work as an adviser at Citizens Advice. I am volunteering for the last 9 years, but in the last month we’ve set up new home working and remote services to continue to support people through the COVID-19 crisis.

As you can imagine, many of our clients at this time need help with advice regarding furlough and redundancy situations and Universal Credit claims. Sadly, we are also seeing a large number of people who need urgent food bank assistance as well as an increase in domestic violence cases.

Citizens Advice was initially set up in 1940 to respond to the impact on British citizens from bombings and other wartime challenges, and I’m really pleased and fortunate that I’m able to contribute to helping people through this new battle.”

Beth Cooper, Senior Advisory Partner

“Earlier this year, I was accepted as a volunteer befriender with AgeUK. I managed to complete my induction before the lockdown came into force. Rather than meet my two clients face-to-face, I phone them once a week. The first time I was worried about what we might find to say, but we’ve been chatting about all sorts of things, understanding more about our respective lives and our new reality.

Wednesday is now my volunteering day, when I have both my telephone calls, and also pick up food packs from the local farm and deliver them to families who are shielding.”

As well as the sense of purpose it gives me, it also brings structure to my week and an understanding that in a small way, I am making a difference through what might otherwise be a much more challenging time for vulnerable people. It also helps my professional development as I get a deeper understanding of how people respond to change outside of the workplace and what happens when left to find their own way through.”

Anya White, Associate Consultant

“The agile culture of r10 allowed me to spend some of my afternoons helping vulnerable people in my community while still managing my workload.

I have been delivering food packages and essentials locally to those who are vulnerable and isolating. I have realised that many people where I live, especially the elderly, are unable to leave their houses due to their pre-existing health conditions or COVID-19 symptoms. My family was isolating for 14 days since a member of my family developed symptoms, which we were fortunate enough to overcome. This made me understand first hand the difficulties that isolation brings, and I am happy to continue giving my time to help my community.”