Care Champions celebrate Volunteers’ Week!
To celebrate Volunteers’ Week (1 – 7 June), the Warwickshire Care Champions have collected some examples of how their feedback has helped services recently, as well as the personal benefits they have felt from being volunteers.
The Care Champions are volunteers with experience of using social care services.
They have a passion for speaking up and making care services better.
They are also advocates for the power of volunteering to improve health, well-being and the strength of communities.
Here are some examples of how they have helped services:
“We talked to the manager about accessibility in the garden. It’s a good space but nobody could use it easily because there were no paths and it was very uneven. She appreciated what we were saying and she has a plan to re-model the garden with accessible, safe paving and a sensory area.”
“I shared a bit of knowledge about WRAP (Warwickshire Reminiscence Action Project) on my visit. The service was already doing lots of good things to stimulate memories and conversations using props and I thought WRAP would tie in with that.”
“Volunteering has helped me with my confidence and overall health because I’m out with people, feeling like I’m doing something good.”
“I’ve learned a lot since I started being a Care Champion, like about nutrition and hydration and how to ask good questions about how care homes help people stay healthy. I’ve learned about health and safety in homes, about speaking up. And about what’s important to people, like having friends and good, exciting activities to do.”
The Care Champions also want to highlight some of the work that other volunteers do in care services, as well as the support that staff are giving to customers who want to get involved in volunteering:
“We’ve seen volunteers running little bars or cafes in care homes…one lady was giving up her time to come and play piano for people. These are things that add to what’s already on offer in terms of things to enjoy.”
“One place I visited, I saw a lovely scene where two volunteers were helping someone set up a train set and showing a lot of interest in it. You could see it was a genuine connection they had with this person, his face was lit up.”
“I’ve only recently been somewhere where they (the staff) are really helping people get into volunteering or working. One person is starting at a local charity shop, someone else is working at a Morrisons and there are people who volunteer at the train station looking after the flower beds. This is so great, I’m sure those volunteers will be proud of themselves.”
“I remember one home we went to where a resident lived who used to run a post office. The staff helped her to deliver people’s mail and newspapers within the home. You could see how busy and interested she was in the task and it was providing a service to other residents…I thought how marvellous, the staff know this lady’s past and they help her to use this and help other people.”
Care services are also supporting people – customers and family members – to become volunteer Care Champions, sometimes by simply sharing information about the role with people, often by working with officers from the Quality Assurance and Improvement Team to provide all the support a person needs in order to enjoy the role and be an effective champion of good care.
Do you know a customer or family member who would make a great volunteer Care Champion?
We are looking for people with experience of using social care services who want to help improve care and highlight good practice. Full, free training and support are provided and tailored to individual requirements.