Day 54 of 100 Days

Sarah Swaysland

Tuesday, 23rd February 2021

It was another day where I managed to pack in quite a lot. I worked with four charities today, with one new one and some old favourites. I even managed to get a run in today, which was quite remarkable really!

What: Life Skills Hub Update
Organisation: Only A Pavement Away

It feels like ages since I spent time with OAPA, when in fact it’s only been a couple of weeks. Even though I have been trying to follow-up with my retail contact in the interim, I haven’t done anything that I would count as proper volunteering. Today, we had a catch-up about the Life Skills Hub, which we’ll be launching in the summer. It was a very general catch-up about venues and what the plan is regarding the training of the OAPA members, who are people who are being trained by the OAPA skills hub, rehomed placed into hospitality jobs in one of our partner restaurant groups (The Ivy, Gaucho, Livleyhood or one of many others). I was also able to update everyone on my retail contact who, after some positive initial contact, has since been ghosting me. I don’t mind when someone tells me no or that they can’t help, but to be ghosted is quite disheartening. I shall carry-on following-up and will also see what my brother in-law has up his sleeve, because I’ve got him on the lookout. He works in procurement somewhere in Whitehall (it’s never really clear what he does or what he procures though).

What: Facebook Ads
Organisation: The Doorstep Library

I’ve mentioned previously that I really don’t like social media that much, but that’s not to say that I don’t understand the importance of it from a marketing perspective. Today, I met with Rosie from The Doorstep Library, who is a part-time fundraiser for the charity. As well as doing more Google Ads, they also want to try Facebook advertising to try to attract more regular donors. This is such a challenge at the moment, because it seems like everyone is trying to attract regular donors and money is tight for a lot of people. Luckily for TDL, they have a really good idea of their audience, and where they are based, which should make setting up the ads a lot more straightforward.

What: Telephone befriending
Organisation: Age UK

I managed to get hold of Lady T today which is great news as I didn’t get through to her at all last week. She’s had her Covid jab and was in amazing spirits. She’s feeling really positive and can’t wait to get the second jab. I’m so pleased about this because she’s one of so many who have been really careful throughout this pandemic, at the expense of her being able to see anyone really. I’ve offered to go round and help her with her garden when restrictions ease, and that looks as though it’ll be the beginning of April sometime. I should have some tomato plants by then which I can give her which will be really nice.


What: Pen Pals Training
Organisation: Volunteering Matters

I had a Microsoft Teams meeting at 1pm with Volunteering Matters to participate in some pen pal training, in preparation for taking on a new pen pal. There were some technical issues, so we were 15 minutes late, but we got in eventually. Having been through all the training with Age UK on telephone befriending and personal shopping, there wasn’t much that came as a surprise to me – basically, build rapport, start small, don’t give away too much personal info and certainly don’t start sending family photos. Volunteering Matters is an organisation that I signed-up to pretty early on in my volunteering journey, but this is the first job I’ve taken on. I’m looking forward to going back to the analogue way of life. I had loads of pen pals when I was in the Sea Cadets, but that was when social media didn’t exist, and no one had mobile phones. When we did get mobile phones, it used to cost 10p per text – so you had to really like someone if you were going to invest a text message on them.

I went for a run today because I'm training for a half marathon in May, although I got an email from them today saying they're not really sure what's happening in light of the new government announcements. I'm hoping that they'll postpone it to September or October, not because I don't think I'll be ready but more because I think the weather is more likely to be average. It's much nicer to run in the rain than in the sun - I get really hot. The run itself was okay. Just okay. I definitely have some work to do.