Our Duty Officers bring together the volunteer and neighbour in a time of need.
The older members of our community have been some of the hardest hits in this pandemic.
Our figures show that during 2021, BGN responded to 368 calls for help from our older neighbours who called our Duty Officers. This included 135 lifts to hospitals and GP appointments; 52 calls for practical help around the home; 18 emergency shopping requests and more than 30 lifts to BGN social events. 11 sought a befriender and 16 asked for advice.
In addition to calls made through our Duty Officers we have volunteers who make regular friendship and wellbeing calls to our neighbours and they made a total of 1852 calls last year!
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in March 2020 we have provided help for the neighbours who were required to self-isolate either because of their age or underlying medical condition. A group of our volunteers were able to step in to provide a weekly shopping service.
Our task force of volunteers undertook, taking grocery orders from their nominated neighbours, logging the orders for designated shoppers, and the delivery of groceries, over an incredible 84 weeks, with a shopping spend of more than £22,000!
The success of the vaccination programme in 2021, enabled all our neighbours who had received their booster jab, to feel they were ready to participate safely in our social events which commenced in June.
We organised 12 outings, comprising of 2 Picnic lunches at Box Moor Trust’s Old Barn, 4 Pub lunches, 2 Garden centre visits, an Afternoon Cream Tea, 2 Canal Boat trips rounding off with a festive Christmas lunch in December.
Neighbours also enjoyed regular monthly Fish & Chip deliveries and Roast Dinner meals delivered twice to their door.
Dog walkers made 120 dog-walking trips over the year.
It's a brilliant team effort. A massive round of applause to those who manned the Duty Officer phone weekly and all who helped during these challenging times!
Duties of a Duty Officer
The duties of a BGN Duty Officer (DO) are often interesting and can give a brief window into the lives of some of the neighbours who ring our helpline.
The Duty Officer rota allocates a volunteer from the DO group to answer the helpline for a week. At the end of the week the BGN’s very own mobile phone (07713 358 931) gets a clean and is handed on to the next person on the rota. They have it with them on weekdays from 9am to 1pm.
When a request comes in that needs a volunteer to help, a message goes out on our WhatsApp group. The messages protect the identity of the neighbour. Only when a volunteer comes forward to take on the task will they be provided with the details. It all goes on our spreadsheet, so we have a record of our activities.
You never know who a call will be from. We have had someone looking for help in researching family history, a social worker looking for support for one of her cases and family members who are trying to persuade their relatives to make use of BGN services. So many people are reluctant to seek help.
It is very heart-warming to see the efforts of our volunteers to bring a better life to our neighbours and to hear from the neighbours how much they appreciate those efforts. The medical lifts and dog walking are important but BGN brings much more to the table. There is friendship, social events and odd jobs on offer too.
If you interested in volunteering for BGN or if you know of anyone in Box moor who would benefit from BGN’s services, please contact us @ 07713 358 931 or fill in and submit BGN's volunteer form.
For more information or queries please email us at email@example.com