We celebrate volunteers making a positive difference in our communities – Thank You!

Volunteer Voices

“I volunteer for the Beth Johnson Foundation helping people to learn more about IT and helping them to understand how to use devices like computers, laptops, printers and phones. I also help people sort out any problems that they might have so they can carry on using their device.

It is important because it helps people connect to friends and family over the internet even if they are in another country so they do not feel alone. It also helps them find information about certain subjects they were not able to find out on their own without the internet. Another reason why it is important is because it helps people sort out their own personal lives like hospital oppointments. For some people it helps them to get to know where they live better and help them find out that there are places for everyone to go out and enjoy.

I feel extremely happy about helping other people because seeing the smiles on their faces when they realise that it is easier than they think and they can connect to other people makes me happy, knowing that I helped them connect to the modern world and also to their friends and family.” Jon – Volunteer Digital Friend

Community Voices

During this week one of our volunteers provided digital support for an older person who has recently moved into the local area who told us he is finding using computers difficult now due to technology moving on since he retired from work.

He told us with the advances in technology It’s like a lost world to me at the moment. I tried to find help from anyone I could think of in my local area but I kept hearing ‘we used to do it but we don’t have the funding anymore’. I felt left behind and socially excluded. Everything is going online and it’s confusing and frightening, Is it safe? am I capable? I felt very insecure working with computers as I didn’t know what I was doing.

At the Beth Johnson Foundation I was happy to find that help was at hand from volunteer Digital Friends. it was a great relief to me, I wanted to learn to use computers and was struggling with no one to help me. Now I’m finding the help from volunteer Jon to be very helpful as he explains things in a clear way and also he is very king and patient which is very important. I’m feeling more confident in using digital in my everyday life.Rodney – Tea & Tech member

Volunteer Voices

“I have been volunteering with BJF for over 10 years. At the moment I volunteer with the BJF Bereavement Friendship Project which started with telephone befriending for people who were grieving and now we meet once a month at Parkfield House. We have some people who have moved on from telephone befriending, then Zoom meetings to joining live meetings. 

Recently three new members have joined the group who are recently bereaved and their grief is very raw. Even though some people have to pluck up the courage to come, they find it really refreshing, laughing with other people, mixing with them, they are not alone, they feel a sense of comradeship.  

We never know what we are going to talk about, sharing memories and sometimes making jokes. At times the subject gets serious.  People tend to open up and talk about things, saying ‘I didn’t think I would ever talk about that’ They are at ease and relaxed,  there’s a lot of trust in the group.  At the end of the meeting we check in to make sure everybody is feeling ok, if someone isn’t feeling ok we talk it through and don’t finish until we are sure everyone is feeling ok. 

I volunteer because I have empathy, I have been through it myself. If I have made someone feel a bit better then I have accomplished something. I’ve always volunteered and it is very important to me to because it makes me feel good, satisfaction that I have helped someone and they have gone away feeling better than when they arrived. With new things on offer, I always feel like I want to have a go. I like volunteering with BJF, I’m not made to feel different because of my vision, my sight loss, I’m treated the same as other volunteers. We are well supported and if something else comes up, I can join in. “  Dianne – Volunteer

Volunteer Voices

I volunteered to take part in the Food Recipe Project at Beth Johnson Foundation as I think it important that people can cook healthy meals from scratch using fresh ingredients.The project involved looking at existing food recipes created by The Hubb Foundation to use with a slow cooker. A group of staff, volunteers and community members were given a slow cooker and one of the recipe cards to cook a meal and then to feedback our thoughts to the project group.The following points were considered in redesigning the recipe cards:

  • People with no cooking experience – simplicity of recipes
  • People whose first language is not English – use pictures of ingredients listed
  • People with physical or learning disabilities – ease of preparation
  • People with sight loss – clear font, contrast and colour usage
  • Clear list of ingredients with amounts of each ingredient specified
  • Step by step instructions on how to prepare the food
  • How many people the recipe would feed
  • Health, safety and hygiene points
  • The size and type of materials used for the recipe card.

Staff, volunteers and students on placement with BJF met on a number of occasions to discuss ideas and agree which should be incorporated into the recipe cards. Advice was also taken from community members, a volunteer who had worked in the catering industry and volunteers with sight loss.

Once the final format was agreed the cards were prepared with the colours, fonts, layout and pictures of the finished foods to look appetising and encourage people to try them. The cards were then shared with staff from  The Hubb Foundation for feedback.

The project was really enjoyable and made me think about aspects I had not considered before. Hopefully the recipe cards will help other people to have a positive and healthy outlook towards food preparation in the future.

Sue – Volunteer

At BJF we are looking forward to joining our volunteers in a few weeks time for an evening Volunteers Celebration Event in partnership with FHC and MHA.

We want to say a huge thank you to all our volunteers, thank you for your support, your time and your unwavering commitment to people in our local communities and to BJF. You make a huge positive difference to the lives of older people.

Thank You BJF Volunteers

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