Last Wednesday we had our first semi social event for volunteers. Kesgrave Social Club very kindly offered us a partitioned area by the bar - the area at the far end of the photo, partitioned by closing the large gap, to the left of the radiator, with the built in roller partition. That’s not us in the photo though – we were all seated giving intense thought to our future programme of publicising the scheme, with just the occasional refreshment to lubricate the process and encourage a creative flow!
It was a really useful session as we were able to swap notes on various things, remind ourselves of the big list of jobs we agreed to complete to move things forward, and refresh ourselves on some of the protocols, and the minimal but essential bureaucracy, that comes along with a scheme of this sort. Most importantly we were able to get to know each other a lot better which not only fulfils part of the social side but is a great help to phone holders to make a better match between those neighbours needing a bit of help and those volunteers offering to give it. It also reminded us what a diverse, practical, proactive, creative and helpful bunch we were – the enthusiasm to be effective Good Neighbours, and the practical skills backing it up was clearly demonstrated!
Since we launched the scheme with our founding group of nearly 20 volunteers, we have several more coming forward and feel that we should devote a meeting every quarter to new volunteers. This would involve a brief induction process for new volunteers including CRB checks, ID card photos and some training on phone and “visiting” protocols. And of course tea, coffee and home made cakes too!
Many thanks to Kesgrave Social Club for letting us use their facilities – one of the pleasures of getting involved in a community scheme like this is finding out so much more about all the great facilities and organisations already available in Kesgrave.
Volunteers, please put the next date in your diary - Wednesday 28th November at 7 30pm, Kesgrave Social Club, Edmonton Road – we’re aiming to make this a regular fixture for the fourth Wednesday of every month.