Organisations in South Yorkshire have pledged to support vulnerable people across Sheffield, recruiting volunteers to help them across this challenging time.
Sheffield Talking News has been ringing listeners to get feedback, whilst also offering support and a friendly chat during the pandemic.
STN Tech Consultant John Stratford said that the feedback is well received, and the organisation builds a strong community with their listeners:
“The recipients are always appreciative and often send letters of feedback.”
One unnamed listener said: “A lovely surprise when Talking News came through the door again! Thank you to everybody who made it possible.”
Sheffield Talking News, founded in 1988, is a volunteer Charity which creates online news for over 400 visually impaired people in Sheffield.
The Corona-Virus has lead to many vulnerable people being subject to isolation for almost a year. In response, STN is delivering local news to the visually impaired and other vulnerable groups via electronic means, and having supportive chats with them.
Mr Stratford, said that whilst the lockdown has left the charity in a “challenging situation”, ultimately, the “people who suffered most were some of our listeners”.
In 2020, over 50% of vulnerable people in the UK reported having no visitors except for personal care.
The effects of the pandemic have made the jobs of many volunteers more difficult, Sheffield Talking News Charity having to postpone some of their services as a result.
The ‘Buddy Up’ campaign has also struggled with numbers of workers, and hopes for more volunteers in order to support the hundreds of vulnerable people in Sheffield.
The Star’s ‘Buddy Up’ campaign last week launched in conjunction with ‘Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care’.
They aim to provide the vulnerable with support through frequent phone calls.
Sharon Saunders, Volunteer coordinator says that they have received 70 new sign-ups, but still have over 100 isolating people on waiting lists for calls.
The organisation hope more volunteers will sign up.
She said: “The feedback we are seeing from members of the public who want to give up their time to support our isolated and vulnerable older communities is heart-warming.”
If you wish to volunteer with SCCCC visit www.scccc.co.uk/volunteer.