Rick’s experience as a Community Response Volunteer

5th June 2020

As part of Barnet’s Community Response to COVID-19, Rick was one of over 300 volunteers who offered their support. Rick volunteers for the Good Neighbour Scheme, a charity supporting elderly, isolated and less mobile people in the Mill Hill and Burnt Oak area. At the core of their operations is a large team of local volunteers who help to deliver the various services.

Rick shares his experience of becoming a volunteer during lockdown:

‘When the coronavirus crisis hit, I had a drive to want to do more. I was working from home and found I had a lot of extra time to give back. I’ve volunteered for other organisations in the past but I wanted to do something to help people in the current crisis who were in trouble, so I applied to volunteer through the Barnet Community Response Volunteer platform and was placed with the Good Neighbour scheme about a week later. I shop for groceries for people who are self-isolating and are unable to go out themselves. The people I support are often older people or people who are shielding. Everyone’s been so glad for the help. I left a note for one lady, and when I visited her again she told me she had kept the note as she was so uplifted by it.

I think the notion of wanting to look back and think ‘I did as much as I could to help with the opportunities and skills that I have’ is a big driving force for me and many other volunteers. I think a lot of people find that comforting – so not only are you helping others but you’ve helped yourself as well.’

There are still volunteering opportunities available. If you have been inspired by Rick’s story and would like to volunteer for a similar role, please register and have a look at the opportunities available in your area here.

To find out more about the Good Neighbour Scheme Mill Hill & Burnt Oak, please click here.

For Volunteering Barnet’s advice on safe volunteering check out the resources available in the COVID-19 section of our tool kit.

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