A CHARITY for people with sight loss in Worcestershire has been praised for its work with volunteers – who have been helping people by phone during the coronavirus lockdown.

Sight Concern Worcestershire has achieved the Investing in Volunteers Quality Standard, the UK award for excellence in volunteer management which aims to improve the quality of the volunteering experience for all volunteers.

As Sight Concern is unable to support clients on a face to face basis currently, they put out a call for volunteers across the county to help stay in contact through telephone befriending, which helped.

Jackie Murrall, volunteer coordinator, said: “For people who are lonely or isolated, regular telephone calls and having someone to talk to really does make a huge difference. We have been able to set up over 70 new partnerships for regular telephone calls since the beginning of April with help coming from our existing and former volunteers, clients, plus new volunteers through social media and through our volunteering network”.

Viv Hammersley was one of the first new volunteers to join as a telephone befriender when lockdown was announced.

She explained “it was something I could do straightaway to help out during this unsettling time and as I was also self isolating, it was good for me too”.

Sight Concern are always appreciative of all that their volunteers do to support people living with sight loss and wanted to shine a light on their commitment during Volunteers’ Week. The planned celebration event has had to be postponed but the staff are looking forward to seeing all the volunteers as soon as circumstances allow, and in the meantime are sending them a huge thank you!

If you would like to join the team of volunteers, please contact Jackie Murrall via j.murrall@sightconcern.co.uk or 07507 830546