Senior managers at Bluebird Care were offered paid leave during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic to volunteer in their local communities.
The team at the provider’s Franchise Support Centre were looking for ways they could provide additional support to those in need when the virus hit, and decided to offer staff one paid volunteering day during the month of May.
The aim was to encourage the team to start, or continue to, support initiatives in their local areas.
Some of the Franchise Support Team were already using their spare time to help out in their local communities and came up with the idea for the volunteering day.
James Gillespie, Bluebird Care quality manager for the South West region is now doing regular four-day working weeks so that he is able to volunteer more often.
He said: “Relatively early in the lockdown I felt that I should be doing more. Until my current role I had always been involved in an operational capacity, even in my senior management roles. Therefore in a time of crisis, I am used to stepping up to the plate. After a few days of considering my options, I requested to compress my hours down to be done over four days a week, which would then allow me to get out and do something in my local community.
“I have been supporting my local community as much as possible, this has included supporting people that needed medication and baking bread for those who were shielding to name a few. Volunteering can make a significant difference to people which is part of the reason I volunteer as Father Christmas every year.”
John Wilberforce (pictured right), the Bluebird Care business development manager for Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the North recently helped out at a food bank in Bradford.
“I do some stuff there on a Saturday morning, but on a Tuesday morning, I am in the warehouse there as food gets delivered and sorted,” he said.
“Seeing donations going out to people in need is a wonderful feeling, truly. But knowing that it is the kindness of others in my Community that is making the difference is just as good. It means a lot to me that Bluebird Care supported me in doing this.”
Ted Richardson, business development manager for the Midlands West and Wales, is a Macmillan Telephone Buddy.
He explained: “I have people I am paired with and I make calls to those people who are going through cancer treatment and would like someone to talk to while in isolation and indeed being shielded.
“I went through my own cancer treatment last year and I met some people who did not have someone who could relate to their story and that they could talk to. I can only imagine how hard it must be to go through it in the current climate, so I wanted to be able to help in whatever way I can.”