Robert shares with us how his volunteering role has changed during the pandemic, but the support and guidance from Inverclyde Carers Centre has helped him to continue volunteering through this difficult time.
Tell us about your volunteering
I volunteer at the Inverclyde Carers Centre. Before the pandemic I met with a carer face to face but that changed to befriending carers over the telephone.
Over the years I met lots of other carers in face to face conversations and enjoyed my time with them; some great people in difficult situations, we could talk for any time up to 1 hour no problem.
Then the pandemic came along and the carers centre asked me if I would volunteer to make phone calls to other carers to check how they were getting on in these trying times. I must admit to feeling a bit apprehensive as my idea of a phone conversation was about 3 to 5 minutes to get the information I wanted, but I must thank the carers I spoke to as we could be talking anywhere from 15 mins up to 1 hour
Why do you volunteer?
I received some support and wanted to help support others.
What do you gain from volunteering?
During these calls I learned how hard it was for some families and how they coped with the isolation forced on them by the various lockdowns; people with parents and grandparents in care homes when you couldn't visit them, then those with kids coping with home schooling but in most cases we could have a bit of a laugh by the end of the call.
Now speaking to those who want a call back now things have eased, you can tell the relief when they speak about being able to actually see and speak to elderly relatives and those with kids trying to get back into a school routine.
What would you say to someone considering volunteering?
Give it a go and support others in your community.
Find out more about Inverclyde Carers Centre - visit their website.