How Norwood transformed its volunteering support during the lockdown

3 June 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak has had a significant impact on the people we support, restricting their usual physical and social activities that are fundamental to their wellbeing.

Our virtual volunteering workforce is vital to enable us to keep the people we support engaged, while ensuring that we stick to the Government’s social distancing measures. By delivering activities via Zoom, we’ve lifted their spirits and enabled them to cope better in these extraordinary times.

Norwood residents have taken part in our Jewish-based quizzes and our volunteers have adapted well to their new role as quiz masters, providing humour as well as a few too many clues to the answers!

We had a group of young people deliver their first in a series of Bingo sessions that was noisy but great fun.

There has also been a concert and sing-a-longs to entertain everyone.

Our Young Norwood volunteers have swapped their live karaoke sessions in the homes for virtual karaoke sessions on Zoom, every other Sunday, which our residents love joining in with.

One volunteer, who is 90 years old, has been singing ‘Happy Birthday’ over the phone to residents on their special day, which has been the icing on the cake.

A group of young teens from BBYO have produced cards and letters for the people we support. These are greatly appreciated by our residents, who enjoy receiving messages from the outside world.

Many volunteers have also been working tirelessly from home, sourcing donations of fresh food and treats from supermarkets and local kosher shops.

Benefits of virtual volunteering for the people we support

  • Helps them stay connected to the outside world
  • Keeps them occupied and involved in fun activities
  • Provides an opportunity to “meet” new volunteers
  • Gives them a chance to catch up with their friends on screen
  • Keeps their spirits lifted
  • Engages them in activities they like and enjoy
  • Provides an opportunity to learn about Jewish culture through fun activities
  • Enables the staff to concentrate on their key duties of caring for the people we support

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