When we formed our volunteer group during the first lockdown, we didn't expect to still be in demand almost a year later and needing a website, fortunately, we received a very kind donation to launch our own website form Redrow housing last year.
Since Nantwich Buddies started our group of 60 regular volunteers are still supporting circa 85 households with shopping, prescription collection and befriending.
Our community group, managed by local podcast network RedShift Radio, received £1,150 from Redrow’s Nantwich community fund so it we could create a bespoke website to further promote our services including information on how to become a ‘Buddy’.
Liz Parkin, the founder of the group, said: “During its peak, Nantwich Buddies had 60 volunteers supporting 160 isolating households in Nantwich and Acton. During a period of less strict lockdown, we also launched our ‘Street Ambassadors’ campaign, which involves our volunteers assisting anyone who may be struggling with returning to ‘normal’ and visiting shops.”
The website went live in November and since then 30 more volunteers have signed up.
“We also ran a series of virtual volunteer workshops last yea which were open to anyone in the area who is a volunteer or would like to become a ‘Buddy’. The start of 2021 has been busy with helping out with vaccines and flow testing but we're thinking of starting the online workshops again later this year inline with training our new Buddies. ” adds Liz.
Simon Bennett, interim sales director at Redrow NW said: “The benefits that Nantwich Buddies has brought to the community are huge and will continue to be so. As a business, Redrow has had to adapt to the challenges of Covid, but as individuals, we’ve all had to adapt to new ways of living too and we can empathise with those who have had to shield or isolate. The work Nantwich Buddies does is life-changing in that respect and I am really pleased to see their website is live so they can continue with their valuable work.”
Nantwich Buddies has provided well in excess of 3,000 volunteer hours since last March. The plan is to now provide volunteers with a series of badges or certificates so they can track and monitor their progress, including attendance at workshops such as Becoming a Dementia Friend, Mental Health First Aid, Basic Sign Language and Listening Skills.
Photo taken prior to current national lockdown. Kedren Elliott and Liz Parkin from Nantwich Buddies with Redrow sales consultant Simon Woodhouse