Urgent need for volunteers in Torbay’s communities

We are always on the lookout for volunteers here at Torbay Communities and here we are again with an urgent ask.

We are all aware of the pressures on the NHS post COVID and we need every bed available, but sadly, some people are being forced to stay in hospital longer than needed.

They could be discharged tomorrow if only we could find someone to ease their journey home by preparing their house, stocking the cupboards and turning the heating on.

Then, all we need is a volunteer driver prepared to drive the patient home where their recovery can continue in familiar surroundings supported by carers and volunteers.

It is that simple.

Would you be prepared to help someone in your community return to the home that they love? Do a bit of shopping,? Provide a little bit of ongoing support? Pick someone up from the hospital? It doesn’t take much effort or time, but it can mean the world to the person you are supporting.

The NHS is bursting at the seams and is still recovering from the devastating effects of COVID, and every bed is needed, but patients cannot simply be discharged if there is no one there to help them.

If you could be that person or one of those people, please call the Torbay Community Helpline today on 01803 446022. We would love to get more people home quicker, but we are struggling without your help.

Shoppers and drivers are by no means the only opportunities we have on offer; we are always seeking more befrienders – people prepared to take as little as an hour out of their week, to have a conversation with someone. It might be just a chat for you, but the person you are talking to may not have spoken to anyone else that week. It will make their day, their week.

We also need people who have counselling skills that use their specialist knowledge to help someone whose mental health may be suffering and need a bit of a lift to get them through.

Because the Helpline was originally set up to counter the dire effects of the coronavirus epidemic, some think that its work is no longer needed, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The sad fact is that the Helpline is as necessary today as it ever has been and tackles a myriad of issues with the help of a dedicated team, a combination of paid staff and volunteers.

We boast that the Helpline is all things to all people – one call, that’s all – and if we do not know the answer to your problem we will find it for you and you are guaranteed a friendly reception no matter what the question.

Volunteering represents a world of opportunities, and in addition to the urgent requirement for shoppers drivers and befrienders, we always need people to join our friendly team of marshals at the Rivera Vaccination Centre in Torquay. You can do as much or as little as you like but most people find they enjoy it so much helping others, that they ask for more hours rather than fewer.

By coincidence, last week we staffed a stall at the Riviera Expo exhibition in the place where we normally help deliver the vaccinations, and in keeping with all we do, it was volunteers who represented us and boasted about our work, none of which would be possible without them.

We told employers in the Bay all about the volunteering opportunities available through VolunteerTorbay.com and the Torbay Together platform and challenged them to encourage their employees to get involved.

Thousands of people are volunteering in the Bay daily, and we plan on celebrating their efforts in print in the local media and on the Bay’s very own community radio station, Riviera FM.

We will be hosting a three-hour programme every Tuesday from 10am to 1pm on Riviera FM 107.9 starting in November, so if you want a shout-out,  have the opportunity to discuss the fantastic efforts of your volunteers, or perhaps find more, then do drop me a line at [email protected]

Remember, if you want to volunteer for any of our opportunities, including getting people home from hospital, please call the Helpline on 01803 446022.

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