Student volunteers who work with disabled adults are staying in touch with them despite the coronavirus crisis, by offering support over the phone and getting them involved in online activities to help others.
The Supported Volunteering Scheme is run by Discovery, the student volunteering charity. Students are paired with disabled adults from the local community. Each pair works side by side on Discovery’s projects, often in the team’s office on the University campus.
With the restrictions due to the coronavirus, this is not currently possible. However, the students are staying in touch by phone with the people they support, which is particularly valuable at a time when many people are isolated.
The phone calls also give students and the disabled adults they support an opportunity to take part in activities like an “NHS Thank you” video. They can also keep up their good work through virtual volunteering, for example helping blind and visually impaired people using the Be My Eyes app.
Students make the calls as part of a co-ordinated programme. The first calls took place last week.
Angel, one of the people supported by the scheme, said:
"It is important to keep in touch with volunteers from Discovery because it gives us someone to talk to and it is important to keep in touch with your friends. It gives us something to do - also it makes me happy to keep in touch as Discovery has done so much for me."
Abi Semple, one of the Swansea University student volunteers, said:
“In this time of uncertainty I feel it’s important to keep in contact with those who need support. Now is the time to be there for one another, and Discovery enables me to play my part in making someone feel not so alone”
Discovery is a registered charity that has been in operation since 1966. It is a volunteer-led organisation, which aims to enrich the lives of people in Swansea through volunteering.
Currently it has around 600 volunteers busy getting involved in over 30 voluntary projects all over Swansea.
Find out more about Discovery