Volunteer Newsletter: May 2020

Volunteer Newsletter: May 2020

Our second Volunteer newsletter…

… And, under much stranger circumstances. Although the current situation is not one any of us could have anticipated, thanks to the help of our amazing team of volunteers, we are able to continue to support people in Stockport with a sight or hearing loss in this time of need.

As you may have seen on our social media, we decided it was time to spread
some joy, say thank you to our amazing key workers and volunteers and show off the lovely faces Walthew has to offer! So, we asked people to send in a photograph of themselves either holding up their hands in a heart shape or with a coloured in rainbow. Over 40 people sent in their photos and we combined them all into this one collage with the centre image being the logo for Walthew House.

A collage of photographs made up of staff, volunteers, service users and supporters of Walthew House (including a few pets!).

Walthew House Cup

Our annual Walthew House Cup – Blind Bowling event that was due to take place in March has been postponed. However, before we made this decision, we had made up lots of goody bags for attendees. We decided to remove the perishables from these bags (crisps, cake, sweets) and donate a trolley full of items to The Wellspring.

Trolley full of items donated to The Wellspring

Thank you to Janice, Brenda and Ron for helping us to put the bags together and to Aaron for helping us to get it all ready for The Wellspring.

Collection boxes

Before all of the craziness, we were busy collecting our counter-top collection boxes that are placed in shops, cafes, bars and pubs all over Stockport. Thank you to Graham, Ian, Terry, Doreen, Ruth, Chris, Sinead, Rose, and Thomas for all of your help with this. Despite the increase in cash-less payments, countertop collection boxes continue to bring in a steady income for Walthew House and also help us to spread awareness across the town.

Making More Happen

In February, back when things were normal (as normal as possible at Walthew House) we were continuing with our usual activities to Make More
Happen… Our truffle-making workshop was a great success. Thank you to Louise from Chocolate Collective for coming along and to Ann, John, Jennifer, Vincent, Dorothy, Caroline, Lee and Phil for volunteering on the day.

We also took a trip to the People’s History Museum in Manchester with Bury Blind Society. Thank you to Ron, Brenda, Judy, and Karen for being sighted
guides on the trip.

Terry in a dashing top hat.

Tech Group

A huge thank you to Martin, Nicola and Dave from the Co-Op for joining us at our March Tech Group to discuss accessibility issues on the Co-Op website. The photo shows Dave, chatting with volunteer Paul, about accessing the Co-Op website on his BrailleNote Touch device.

Dave, chatting with volunteer, Paul, about accessing the Co-Op website on his BrailleNote Touch device

What are we getting up to?

All sorts is the answer! We are constantly thinking up new ideas and putting them into action.

  • We are in regular contact with over 60 service users, with help from a great team of volunteers doing calls – thank you all! I think the volunteers doing the calls will agree that, it is lovely to have the
  • time to sit and listen about peoples life histories and, some amazing stories have been shared
  • We are delivering essentials (shopping, prescriptions, hearing aid batteries etc.)
  • Delivering ‘Keep Busy’ care packages and treats from us to service users. Muriel is pictured to the left, receiving her ‘Keep Busy’ pack of large print word-searches, a large piece jigsaw puzzle and some goodies
  • Liaising with Stockport Libraries to arrange delivery of talking books
  • Creating a weekly bulletin in accessible formats with a range of national and local information of interest
  • Creating a weekly audio quiz and exercise sessions for the Stockport Talking Newspaper
  • Tech 1-2-1 – remote support with technology as an extension of our usual Tech Group
  • Walk My Way – one to one, socially distant guided walks for long cane users

… And more in the pipeline. If you have any suggestions for services that we could offer please do let us know.

Muriel receiving her ‘Keep Busy’

We would not be able to do any of this is if it wasn’t for our amazing volunteers.

We would like say a special thank you to; Aaron, Andrew, Bev, Brendan, Chris, David, Elaine, Graeme, Graham, Gemma, George, Ian, Janice, Judy, June, Karen, Michael, Mike, Ruth, Shaun, Shelly, Sue, and Vincent. You have all helped in one way or another and we are extremely grateful.

Volunteering opportunities

We are having some issues with our Facebook account and page. Specifically, obtaining a ‘Donate’ button on the page. If you can provide any insight or knowledge please let Shannon know (0161 480 2612 / funding@walthewhouse.org.uk)

If you have any unwanted items that may help us to keep people busy, please let us know (Board games, large piece jigsaws etc.)

If have a valid DBS certificate through Walthew House, you have access to a car and would like to help us to deliver essentials, shopping, care packages etc. please let Shannon know 0161 480 2612 / funding@walthewhouse.org.uk

As mentioned on the previous page, our ‘Walk My Way’ project is offering guided walks at a safe distance – we are now looking for volunteers who are able to help. If you think you would be suitable for this please contact Naomi for more information 0161 480 2612 / mmh@walthewhouse.org.uk