Volunteers at MertonVision
TO VOLUNTEER FOR US!
MertonVision could not operate as effectively as it does without the help of much valued volunteers.
There are many areas in which you can help:
Service users requesting a volunteer are visited by the volunteer co-ordinator to ascertain what type of assistance is wanted or needed. This ranges from:-
- Purely companionship, to break the cycle of isolation, anxiety & depression.
- Reading personal correspondence, help with paying bills, online shopping/banking
- Escorting out on shopping trips to local stores.
- Escorting out on local walks, visits to places of interest.
- Assisting the Chef, helping to prepare food, peeling chopping etc.
- Setting tables, table cloths, serviettes, cutlery.
- Serving food and drinks.
- Clearing away, washing up,
- Assisting qualified instructor to facilitate exercise moves with clients.
- Safeguarding clients using exercise equipment.
- Setting up and putting away equipment.
- Meeting & greeting service users as they arrive.
- Making Teas/coffees and serving up biscuits.
- Chatting /conversing with service users.
- Washing up afterwards.
Art & Crafts
- Assisting qualified Tutor to fetch and distribute equipment.
- Keeping clients folders in order
- Washing and putting away equipment.
Occasional/ Social Events
- One –off visits escorting people to Hospital appointments, shopping trips for specific items, helping people fill in forms online.
- One to one escorts on Day trips by mini bus to various locations.
- Helping to organise & run Social and Fundraising Events.
One of our long-standing volunteers explains why he personally enjoys volunteering for MertonVision.
A volunteer’s perspective
By Rey Augustin
I have been helping out at MertonVision for several years now, and thought it might be useful to share a little bit about myself and my experience of volunteering.
In the 1960s I came over from Mauritius to live in the UK. I originally settled in Somerset, before moving to London. For 36 years I worked at the Institute of Education, which is part of the University of London. I began as an attendant in the Library, before becoming a library assistant, and finally a senior library assistant. My main responsibilities were acquisitions, finance, administrative tasks, and working at the library’s public desks.
After retiring I spent 6 months thinking about what to do next. In 2006, I was referred to MertonVision by the Job Centre in Mitcham who mentioned that they needed volunteers. I haven’t looked back! I volunteer on Fridays, and my tasks include answering incoming telephone calls, typing up the minutes of meetings, filing, stocktaking the magnifiers, and preparing envelopes for the MertonVision Newsletter. I have found working at MertonVision to be extremely enjoyable and fulfilling. The team is so friendly and supportive. I also find it very rewarding to work for a charity providing such a valuable service to the local community.
In June 2019 I was lucky enough to receive an Annual Merton Partnership Volunteer Award. I attended the celebrations with my granddaughter and it was a memorable evening for us both.
Other Opportunities Include
Driving, Gardening, assisting staff with office skills, and Fundraising.
We give a strong commitment to our volunteers endeavouring to use their abilities in the most effective way possible. MertonVision take seriously the time & commitment the volunteers give to the areas they are working within. MertonVision have procedures set up to ensure there is opportunity for feedback, discussion, support, and involvement from the volunteers.
All volunteers are interviewed; DBS checked and asked to provide the names & addresses of two referees. All volunteers are given awareness & sighted guiding training and receive a certificate.
Volunteers are routinely rewarded for 100 hours service, and yearly service, with a voucher scheme. Every year MertonVision organise a big “Thank You Party” for all our volunteers.
Our last very successful party was held on 3rd August. This year’s party was organised by a wonderful team from NCS The Challenge. Volunteers were presented with certificates by Chairman of the Trustees, Harry Cowd. This was followed by a quiz, piano playing a photo booth and lunch.