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Check-in and chat in Loneliness Awareness Week

We’re a month on from the launch of our new check-in and chat service, where volunteers call the recipients of our food parcels to check the process ran smoothly and to see how they are, helping to combat feelings of loneliness and social isolation.

In that month, we have signed up over 100 new check-in and chat volunteers and have made over 600 calls to people who are socially isolated.

As it’s Loneliness Awareness Week, we wanted to share some of the feedback from our new volunteers. We’ve found that not only do these calls reduce feelings of loneliness in our guests, they are also really beneficial for our volunteers.

Volunteer feedback

Melissa in London said:

“I had a call with a lady last week and we were both in hysterics and got a bit giddy and I think it’s the excitement of having someone new to talk to especially during lockdown. I hadn’t realised how much I’ve missed interacting with people (even though I live with my boyfriend and friend).

It’s been really rewarding to hear how much of a difference Foodcycle has made to people. Everyone is so grateful and it’s nice to feel part of a community and doing something positive during these crazy times.

I’m not working at the moment and volunteering has really helped give me a sense of purpose. Hearing different people’s situations and how Covid has affected them has really given me perspective and made me feel more appreciative of my own situation (eg for not living alone and having outdoor space).”

Nick in Newcastle said:

“I’ve really enjoyed the check-in and chat service so far.

I have been doing all aspects of volunteering from bag packing to delivery driving and then also this service too. It has been great, as I’ve seen every stage of the process. It’s good to connect with the people needing these food parcels and find out what their experience of lockdown has been like. The most important thing is the people on the end of that call, you can hear that they are happy to talk to you. Especially those in single-person households.

I plan to stay involved with Foodcycle after my furlough period ends to help continue the great work they do.”

Stephen in Cambridge said: 

As a FoodCycle Trustee, I think it’s important to contribute wherever possible, as it gives you a greater connection to the guests and to the revised delivery model we are operating during the pandemic. Check-in and chat is a new service-  I really wanted to have a chance to talk to guests and understand just what they are dealing with during this crisis and how we help. It’s tough, really tough for many of them and it makes a positive difference in what we do.

If you would like to volunteer to be part of the check-in and chat service, you can now register. Please note that you will need to have access to the internet, to complete a two-hour training session and to make four calls a week. There is a description of the role here and if you are already registered you can sign up to a training session, here.

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