This is in addition to the 112 local community groups across Powys who have between them involved hundreds of informal volunteers to support their communities. PAVO’s Powys Befriending Service has also seen an increase in volunteers coming forward. They now have around a hundred active volunteers who between them are offering regular telephone contact to 188 clients, helping to prevent the isolation and loneliness which could easily result from the lockdown.
Some of our formal volunteers have been deployed to support GPs and pharmacies with medication deliveries, so far they’ve made over 235 journeys, all co-ordinated by PAVO’s Community Connectors. Others are helping with non-emergency patient transport for the Welsh Ambulance Service. Of course, the good news is that health and care services in Powys have not been overwhelmed in the way that we had feared and although we planned for the worst, the need for volunteers within the NHS and social services in Powys has not been as high as it could have been. We’re working in close partnership with Powys County Council and Powys Teaching Health Board and are now looking at how our volunteers can support other local services too.
Volunteers have made a huge difference to so many people in our communities at this time, helping vulnerable people to access food, medication and human contact. We’ve heard from our volunteers how getting involved in volunteering has helped them to get through the current crisis as well. One volunteer told us that looking forward to putting a smile on someone’s face has really given her a reason to get up in the morning.
Powys Volunteer Centre, 2 June 2020