Vicky Sullivan, effervescent Chair of the Marlborough & District LINK is calling out for new volunteers to help ferry Marlborough’s elderly community around to the places they need to go.
Now that lockdown is being gradually released, Marlborough’s elderly and otherwise housebound community need to catch up on medical and other necessary appointments, and soon (hopefully) visits to day centres, support groups and social events, assuming the confines of the pandemic continue to slowly lift.
“Working together for a stronger community” says Vicky, when asked to describe the role that LINK plays.
“Volunteering can add a great deal to your life and the lives of those you help. It offers you a chance to make a difference to people’s lives in your local community, meet new and interesting people and get satisfaction from doing something useful. Volunteering is fun and rewarding!” she added
What’s expected of a volunteer? What will be a typical shift? Volunteer Peter describes his introduction to LINK:
“The day of my first journey arrived and was given a list of names and addresses and destinations, so set off to locate my passengers and hopefully take them to the correct addresses in time for their appointments – well that was easier than I expected!
Of course one day a call came through to collect Mrs A at 2 o’clock and take her to Christchurch then collect Mrs B to go to the Marlborough Surgery at 3.00 p.m. On expressing surprise at the timings to allow me to get to the coast and back, it was explained it is the name of a church and not the town! After a few weeks everything fell into place and the journeys took on a new aspect as you got to know the clients some of whom have lived in the town and surrounding areas for many years. They enjoyed having a chat and telling of going to school or working locally.”
LINK have become established as a lifeline to those in and around Marlborough who would otherwise be left vulnerable and unable to access the essential services and social activities that enable them to maintain an independent and enjoyable life style. In summary, LINK provides a voluntary good neighbour service.
To become a LINK volunteer you will to be a reasonably experienced driver with patience, tolerance and understanding. Being a good listener will help as will the flexibility and attitude to work as part of a team.
An Enhanced Disclosure & Barring certificate will be required (organised by LINK) and you will drive your own car – which will be vetted at the time of recruitment. It will also be necessary to conform to guidelines to promote the safety of volunteers and clients. An expense rate of £0.45 per mile is provided to the volunteer for the use of their motor car.
Volunteering for LINK is a rewarding activity and is becoming a vital part of “Care in the Community”. If you are interested in joining a dedicated team of volunteers visit the LINK website for further information, or call Vicky on 01672 288007