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National Volunteers Week 2020

National Care Volunteer Week

This week is National Volunteers Week and during the last few months we have seen a phenomenal amount of community spirit. Throughout the country people have volunteered to help those who need it most, including those who are vulnerable or self-isolating, including acts of kindness such as delivering shopping or collecting medication.

Many volunteers have also helped those in the care industry by making a number of items, which we have been fortunate to receive, and have helped us immensely.

In Salisbury, a lady called Carol Kite created the local Facebook group Salisbury Makers Hub- Masks, Scrubs Bags and more- What started out as a small project now has over 1000 volunteers, who have made various items. 

As well as making items for a number of local people and organisations, they very kindly made some things for Abicare- 350 ear savers, 150 scrub bags and 40 scrubs. 

Salisbury Makers Hub- Masks, Scrubs Bags and more

Naomi Betts, an Amesbury resident has taken things a step further- she created the Community Mask Tree initiative. The tree has free face cloth masks to those who may need one- she put the image up on Facebook, and it has become so popular that over 40 trees and counting have been created!

The idea was shared with the Salisbury Makers Hub, who have been working tirelessly to make as many masks as possible. 

The trees, most of which are made using coat stands, can be found in Amesbury, Salisbury, Harnham, Laverstock, Porton, Downton, Tidworth, Bishopdown, and Dinton but they are also popping up even further afield! There are now trees in Liverpool, Colchester and Oxford and more are being set up in Woking and North Wales.

‘Sew your own’ packs with instructions for people wanting to sew their own mask are also proving popular and around £2,000 has been raised through voluntary donations to support local causes.

Members of the public are welcome to take masks for free, however a £2 donation to cover the costs of materials such as elastic is suggested.

The demand for masks is considerably high, so they are looking for as many volunteers as possible to help make them.  For more information on the trees and how to get involved you can email [email protected]

However, the generous donations do not stop there!  We currently have live-in carers at one hotel in Eastleigh and two hotels in Southampton to look after any patients that may come in- Created by Lin Gell, the Facebook group Team Scrubbers Serving Southampton/Portsmouth NHS areas with Scrubs was set up, and they very kindly made us a number of scrubs and scrub bags. 

AND FINALLY- We would like to do a shout out to Nancy, one of the Winchester Hotel live-in carers who adapted 2 pairs of non-slip socks for one of our clients. Due to his large oedematous feet and ankles he had no footwear or socks, so Nancy made him 2 pairs of socks, all hand sewn!

To everyone who has volunteered/continues to volunteer their time and various skills- you have not only helped to make a difference to our carers and clients, but to all carers, clients, key workers and your local communities throughout the country. We thank you all, not just during National Volunteers Week, but every single day! 

Volunteers in care