Volunteering during lockdown has certainly been challenging at times, and most of us are probably aware of the challenges faced by people who were out and about helping in their communities – getting used to a new way of working, being aware of the changing COVID guidance, using PPE, and generally keeping themselves and others safe!
But what about those who helped from their homes during COVID? Well, they had just as much of an impact on the collective efforts against the pandemic! Some of them called people who were at risk of being isolated to have a good blether each week, some completed funding applications so community support groups and food banks could keep topping up their stores, and our own CVS Falkirk volunteer Vicki helped us to bring our local third sector and communities relevant and useful information, through our weekly e-bulletin.
Of course, Vicki has completed her volunteering with us from home, as the rest of the team worked from home, per the COVID-19 guidance. We think that volunteering from home might be a more appealing option for some people in the post-COVID world, so we spoke to Vicki to find out how volunteering throughout COVID has been, and about the highs and lows of helping from home!
What do you do in your volunteer role?
“My volunteer role is E-bulletin Volunteer. My role is to select important information from another source such as a website. This information is given to me via email from my supervisor. I pick out the most important information and put it into a document where it outlines the who, what, why, where and when the particular event is happening, or how to find out about a topic.”
What has been the best bit of volunteering from home, during lockdown?
“The best bit of volunteering at home, during lockdown is that it is very flexible which means you can do it anytime you want or when you have time. This is a big bonus for me because I have a lot of things happening during the week so I tend to do my volunteering at the weekend.”
What are the challenges of volunteering from home?
“The challenges I face when volunteering at home is I struggle sometimes to concentrate and stay focused when I am doing my piece of work because I have a cat and every time I use my laptop she decides to sit on my knee! Another challenge I face is that I can forget/ leave my volunteering to the last minute. This is a good thing also because it’s flexible, but if I’m ever struggling it doesn’t give me much time to speak to my supervisor.”
What would you say to someone else who is thinking about doing a volunteer role from home?
“If you want to become a volunteer and work from home make sure you have enough time to complete the work and be willing to learn new skills. Also have the correct work-station, equipment, etc, set up and a comfortable, quiet environment. I enjoy my volunteering because I am learning new skills every week. Since starting my volunteering in June 2020, I have learnt to use Zoom which I had never used before and feel more confident using it now.”