VASL - How volunteers can help clients make changes

Tue 31 May 2022

VASL is a local charity based in Market Harborough, providing services and projects to improve the lives of people in our community. These include support for family carers, young carers, older people who are lonely and isolated, providing volunteer transport to get people out and about, and activities and information to increase mental well-being. We are a volunteer-involving organisation and most of our work is delivered by trained volunteers.


VASL Community Champions case-study – how volunteers can help clients make changes

Client D was referred during the pandemic. Like many projects Community Champions was accepting referrals for people not strictly within the bounds of the project criteria. Client D was younger than 60, the usual age people can be accepted for Community Champions. Client D was accepted as they were very isolated due to shielding during the pandemic. They suffer with various disabilities and use various aids to get around.

Client D was matched with Volunteer M for telephone befriending. Due to the pandemic no visits could take place at that time. The match went well and the volunteer eventually went on to meet Client D at home in the garden once this type of visit was allowed under local and government guidance.

With Volunteer M’s support Client D went on to access a number of other services within Community Champions:

Digital support, leading to joining zoom groups, with a plan to join a zoom book group.
Community Gatherings  - face to face social gatherings for 25 people in community venues  like cafes and golf clubs
Keeping in touch with friends made through Community Gatherings.
Plans to meet others for lunch and taking action to be able to do this e.g. fixing mobility scooter.

The path to this point for Client D has not been easy, with ups and downs along the way. It has taken the encouragement and skill of the volunteer to get them to this point. With patience and kindness both volunteer and staff have seen this client grow in confidence and eventually have the courage to leave their home, travel, join in and socialise.

Client D is discussing with the  Community Champions team how they might become a volunteer so they too, can offer this support to others in a similar position.


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