The importance of volunteers
Our community focused work would not be possible without our volunteers.
We have recruited Volunteer Coordinators in each of the communities to enable us to respond more efficiently to any demands for extra support. At the end of this year our total number of volunteers had increased from 735 to 997. More volunteers are taking on several roles with us and some are visiting two or more Members. This is reflected in the hours our volunteers have given, totaling 40,183, which is equivalent of £563,366.
We have also refined our recruitment processes to ensure that volunteers feel part of the Blind Veterans UK family from the very beginning and we are pleased to renew our Investors in Volunteering Quality accreditation, which reflects our ongoing commitment to a high quality volunteer service for our Members
When Blind Veterans UK volunteer Sue Davies met 97-year old RAF veteran Evelyn Brooks for the first time, little did she know it was lead to a long-lasting friendship that would enrich both their lives.
“I first enquired about being a home visiting volunteer because I wanted to understand what it was like for those who suffer from visual impairment”, says Sue.
“I know it’s important that the experience is positive for both parties, but had no idea that I would get as much out of the relationship as I do.Sue Davies
So much more than volunteering
“All this helps me to see what challenges someone with sight loss faces in so many ways. Simple things like reading sell-by dates or choosing birthday cards is so much more complicated when you can’t see categories on the shelf or read the greetings."
What I do is so small – to me, anyway. I visit Evelyn once a week or fortnight, have a cup of tea and a giggle or help her to read some mail.
Two way benefit
In return, Evelyn really enjoys Sue’s visits and says, “She is a real diamond - we get on so well together, and always end up having a laugh and a cup of tea.
“Sue made my day when she took me to the shops to buy some birthday cards. We also went to the jewellery shop to get a new watch strap, and bought some tops in Bonmarche, she is so helpful.”