The following email was sent on Tuesday 19th September to all volunteers registered before April 2023.
As you may have seen Kate recently posted in the WhatsApp groups that we have secured funding for the year ahead, this means that we are now able to start the next stage of our evolution.
Since launching in March 2020 we have seen how many people there are across Medway, whom are left without family or friends to support them; both emotionally and physically. We have received countless referrals to help bring kindness and friendship into these peoples lives’. Loneliness & isolation has a massive impact on our health and can be directly attributed to; early death, a decline in physical health and mental wellbeing.
Our aims as an organisation are:
- To bridge the gap of isolation with simple kindness and friendship.
- To protect our vulnerable residents.
- To reconnect communities across Medway.
- To connect existing organisations.
- To reduce loneliness.
To achieve these aims we are looking to have much more of a presence within our communities, right across Medway. We want to be able to support those who are housebound, isolated and lonely. To do this we have identified 6 key volunteering roles, which we are inviting you to recommit to. Be it 1 role or 6 your time will be well spent, helping your neighbours and community.
The roles are:
- Shop and Drop RoadRep – Collecting and delivering shopping & prescriptions.
- NEW Gardening RoadRep - Helping a beneficiary to keep a clean & tidy garden.
- NEW Home Sweet Home RoadRep - Helping a beneficiary to keep a clean & tidy home.
- NEW In-person Befriender.
- NEW Appointment Companion - Accompanying beneficiaries to GP / Hospital Appointments.
Why do I need to recommit?
A lot of time has passed since you first joined MA|RR and whilst we have been able to carry out 99% of the tasks we’ve received, we want to be able to offer the above NEW services to those in the community who need us. This means ensuring we have the volunteer base to deliver these services.
Will MA|RR be paid?
MA|RR do not charge beneficiaries for any of our services and this will not be changing. We do however accept donations via our website and crowdfunder but we never expect a beneficiary to make a donation.
Will I be paid?
As a volunteer we will not be able to pay you for your time, we are however able to reimburse fuel costs and parking costs. For anyone interested in becoming an In-person Befriender we will also cover the cost of refreshments for you and the beneficiary. All of our volunteers will be invited to sign up to Tempo Time Credits, each task is worth a time credit and these can be used to visit a number of London attractions such as Kew Gardens, and they can also be used to enjoy free access to Chatham Dockyard and the Thinking Fitness Gym in Chatham. There will be certain situations where a professionally trained and insured Carer may be needed, in these circumstance we may need to make payment for these services. If you are a qualified and insured Carer then please do let us know as we would look to use people we know in the first instance.
Will I need to undergo training?
Possibly, depending on which roles you are interested in signing up for, we may need to provide additional training, this will also be covered by MA|RR at no cost to you. We will be refreshing our basic training videos in GDPR, Safeguarding and Professional Boundaries in October and will invite recommitted volunteers to watch them at your convenience. We will also be undertaking renewed DBS checks inline with our Safeguarding policy.
How do I recommit?
Simply click on this google link and complete the form. Kate will then process the applications and implement any required DBS checks.
We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support, encouragement and commitment to MA|RR over the past 3 and a half years! We really do hope that you choose to continue to fight with us to defeat loneliness, isolation, and to reconnect communities across Medway. We want MA|RR to be more than just an organisation we want it to become a movement, bridging the gap of isolation with simple kindness and friendship.
Please do get in touch is you have any questions or suggestions.
Sarah, Shaf & Kate.
Mutual Aid Road Reps CIC
Mutual Aid Road Reps CIC is a registered company in England & Wales 12754639. Registered Address: 98 Elmfield, Gillingham, Kent, ME86BN