Wellbeing Friends is an initiative started in April by the #OneSlough Community Response Team. Wellbeing Friend relationships are informal social relationships by telephone that are initiated, supported, and monitored by Slough CVS, for clients who are elderly and/or self-isolating.
There are currently 31 Wellbeing Friends volunteering with Slough CVS, calling 78 clients. Individuals as well as voluntary sector groups came forward when the request went out.
Sutyee Pang, Wellbeing Friend Volunteer said in April: “Making daily welfare calls to families/individuals who are in isolation to check on their welfare and if they need any groceries or medication is also helping me to stay positive by helping others in need.”
On receiving her certificate of thanks, Sutyee Pang said: “So glad I decided to be part of the Slough CVS programme.”
Rosa Hoskins, a Wellbeing Friend who also works at Aik Saath said: “I’ve been making wellbeing calls to vulnerable members of the Slough community since April. Often the calls are a chance to connect with someone and hear a friendly voice. Occasionally, if someone is struggling with their physical or mental wellbeing, I contact the team at SCVS to ensure further support is acquired. The people who I speak to are really grateful to have regular calls and comment on how much of a difference they make.”
GoodGym Slough volunteers also started in April and are continuing along with resuming their regular activities. Manjit Birk said: “Made my weekly wellbeing calls today and had a lovely catch up with all four of them.”
The Wellbeing Team at Slough CVS have been co-ordinating the volunteers and providing them with additional support.
Roxana Trelia, Wellbeing Prescribing Assistant said: “Thank you to all our volunteers for getting involved as Wellbeing Friends, such lovely people, all of them. Many started volunteering because they were furloughed. We’re so pleased that many are now able to return to their day jobs and wanted to say thank you to them with a certificate to show our appreciation.”
Yvette Hockley, Volunteer Co-ordinator, Slough CVS said: “We know there will be more demand as we head towards the winter months with more people having to stay indoors. We are looking for volunteers, who we will train and DBS check, especially multilingual speakers to help residents from all communities.”
If you are interested in becoming a Wellbeing Friend, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org