Volunteer e-update | Issue 009

Dear volunteer


Welcome to the May 2020 volunteer e-newsletter! 

In these current circumstances we wanted to keep in touch with you to let you know we have not forgotten about you. In these strange and uncertain times, it is vital that we as a community support each other and try to remain positive.

In this newsletter we will be telling you what volunteers have been involved with to help support the community in this crisis. Along with very important information on services which you can access for support and advice.

From the volunteering team - we would like to thank you for all your hard work and support you have contributed towards volunteering in Luton from the beginning of the year. We hope to see you soon.

Remember - we are all in this together, you are not alone.

Stay safe and stay well.
Huge thank you to volunteers

After putting a call out for volunteers in the Luton Council e-news letter and social media. We received an immense response and over 400 local people signed up to help out during this crisis.

Tracey Attard from Luton Adult Learning - created an online training for the new volunteers and over 121 volunteers have completed the training so far, well done volunteers and a huge thank you to Tracey for creating this!

The volunteers have been amazing so far and helped out in a variety of ways. 

The roles have included:
•   Making welfare calls to elderly and most vulnerable people 
•   Picking and packing food and equipment at the warehouse
•   Carrying out food parcel drops for Noah and Signposts at the Easy Hotel
•   Collecting prescriptions for those who are unable to leave the house
•   Delivering hot meals to those who are struggling to get groceries and cook for themselves
•   Collecting and delivering emergency food parcels  

A massive, massive thank you to everyone who has helped and shown your commitment and kindness through this time.
This year is the 75th Anniversary of VE Day and plans included a day full of celebrating peace with carnival and street parties all across Luton and the UK. However as this will not be possible due to COVID – 19 lock down. We will be holding a virtual celebration,  supported by the Luton in Harmony campaign, to showcase the support and solidarity of all residents in Luton.  

We would like you to Join us as we celebrate VE Day 75 virtually on Friday 8 May from 2.45pm.  Full details and the itinerary are here:

Special video messages and performances will be posted, and we’d like you to take part in the toast at home with us at 3pm by sending us your ‘cheers’ photos and videos using #ToastAtHome and #VEDay75.


Lets get creative - Make a VE Day Carnival celebration hat from paper
Mark the occasion by bringing all the joy of the carnival, to VE Day celebration with this make at home VE Day Carnival Celebration Hat! 

Please share your creative photos on social media and make sure you include the following @carnivalukcca  and @lutoncouncil. So we can see your designs! 

Don't forgot to hashtag too! #LutonInHarmony #ManyVoicesOneTown
Please Read : COVID-19 Scams
National Trading Standards is warning people to remain vigilant following a rise in coronavirus-related scams that seek to benefit from the public’s concern and uncertainty over COVID-19.

Criminals are exploiting fears about COVID-19 to prey on members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people who are isolated from family and friends. 

Please be vigilant - we are asking you to look out for your neighbours. Especially those in the elderly or vulnerable category.

Although there are genuine groups of volunteers providing help and support during self-isolation. There have been recent reports of criminals preying on residents, often older people or people living with long-term health conditions.

**Please note volunteers should never ask for your debit/credit card details and never demand any money upfront, without prior arrangements**

Top tips to avoid scammers and phishing emails:
  • Do not answer the door unless you know the person or you are expecting a professional or volunteer to help (this should be arranged via a call beforehand - by a professional or welfare support volunteer - no one should just turn up!)
  • Unsolicited emails and texts: be careful of anything you weren’t expecting that claims to be from an organisation such as a bank, BT, Sky, PayPal, Microsoft, NHS, the BBC and other large, trusted organisations. 
  • No name emails - Dear Sir/Madam or Dear Customer or emails with bad grammar and spelling. (Legitimate emails from services you have accounts with will always address you by name and have the correct spelling)
  • Update your electronic device with the latest anti-virus software. 

For more information about the current scams and for advice please click the link below.
 
More information
Important Information:

if you have received a letter from the government, stating that you are extremely vulnerable group and have a received letter advising them of this, you should register for support on the government website. If you need urgent support please call 01582 548955 (open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or register here

Get support locally
We know that many people who've been told they must self-isolate at home are not able to get help with essential or urgent supplies from family or friends.

If that includes you, we've teamed up with local groups, organisations and volunteers to get the supplies you need during this challenging time. Please click here if you require support.

 

Please see below for a list of useful information and services which can support you or a loved one through this crisis -

I am in need of financial support

Fire safety at home - stay safe

Supporting family, friends, neighbours who have dementia

Bereavement
Local and National Services and Information during COVID-19 Outbreak

Luton Foodbank exists to assist those who cannot afford to feed themselves or their families.

if you are unable to afford food for you and your family and in financial hardship. Please contact Luton Council or Citizens Advice, to speak to a member of staff and complete an assessment.

Luton Council : 0800 456 1673
Citizens Advice : 0844 245 1285 


If you are self isolating but not in financial hardship, you do not need to go through the foodbank assessment and referral process. Instead, please contact [email protected] or 01582 211066 for assistance.
More about Foodbank
At home shouldn't mean at risk
Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.

For anyone who knows someone or who feels they are at risk of abuse themselves. it is important to remember that there is help and support available to you. This includes police response, online support, helplines, refuges and other services.

Bright Sky is a free to download mobile app providing support and information for anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.

Useful contacts: 
Womens Aid Luton : 01582 876636
The Luton All Womens Centre : 01582 416783

National Domestic Abuse Helpline : 0808 2000 247

Please click here for other methods of support

Your Health and Welbeing matters
All of us are worried about coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it will affect us and those we love. Taking care of your mind as well as your body is so vital during these times.

You may feel bored, frustrated or lonely. You may also be low, worried or anxious, or concerned about your finances, your health or those close to you.

It's important to remember that it is OK to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently. Remember, this situation is temporary and, for most of us, these feelings will pass. Staying at home may be difficult, but you are helping to protect yourself and others by doing it.

Please click here to find tips on how to keep your mind and body healthy during these times. Along with local useful contacts of professionals you can talk too.

if you feel you are unable to cope with this current situation, please speak to somebody, whether that is a friend, family member or professional.

Useful contacts:
MIND : 01582 380002 or [email protected]
Samaritans : 116 123 or [email protected] 
 
Staying in touch..
Luton Adult Learning’s Family Learning page for families in Luton.


This page aims to support you through this unprecedented time. 

The Family learning Team have put together some practical tips to support you during this time. This will include fun and creative ideas and activities for both you and your families on learning, health and well-being.

Please click on the icon below to like our page on Facebook and follow us to see the latest information and ideas.
Luton Adult Learning are offering a range of free online workshops: 
 
Identifying Skills - Why not join our Identifying Skills Workshops for a free, online and interactive 40 minute session! We will help you to recognise your strengths and skills from previous employment or personal activities and how these are transferable into a new workplace.

Make the most of your CV - why it is so important that you have all the key information employers are looking for. This 40 minute interactive workshop aims to help you identify good practice in CV writing, how to make the most of your personal statement and write your CV to demonstrate you are the right person for the job. 

Completing an application - So you know your skills, you’ve updated your CV and you found the perfect job role? Next comes the application; it is vital that your application form is completed properly. In this 40 minute interactive workshop we will highlight common errors and other information to help.

Now it’s time for an interview - we understand that an interview is something that can make us all nervous. This 40 minute interactive workshop aims to give you some tips on preparing and presenting yourself for an interview. We will offer guidance and top tips for answering questions and body language.

While we believe it would be helpful to attend all 4 workshops, it is possible to only attend the ones that you feel best fit your needs.

For more information please click here:

If you are interested please contact [email protected] to register your interest.

To be able to join the sessions you will need a computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone (preferably two devices to enable you to take part in the interactive elements more easily)

You will need to sign up for Zoom prior to the session, we will then email you an invitation with the meeting password so that you can join the session.

It would also be helpful to sign up to Mentimeter beforehand too for our interactive elements.

We still need you! 

Even during this pandemic, we still need to think about and care for the environment. Although air travel has now been reduced, we still need to think about the other factors which help the environment. The Environment plays an important role in the healthy living of human beings. As this is the only home that humans have, and it provides air, food, and other needs. 

Here are a few ways how you can still help:
  • Walk, cycle, instead of driving
  • Recycle more at home
  • Limit your fuel consumption
  • Reduce your food waste
  • Use less energy at home (this will also save you money)
  • If you have to drive, consider an Electric Vehicle or Plug In Hybrid
  • Use renewable energy.
Click here to find out more ways to get involved
Reminder....

Expenses - please don’t forget to claim your travel expenses within three months of the date and keep receipts. Contact [email protected]  or your placement for more information about how to claim.
How's your journey been so far?
We want happy, supported volunteers, so we'd love to hear from you about your experience. We welcome any feedback and ideas to improve the volunteer programme. complete our testimonial form

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Contact the Volunteering team

Telephone: 01582 548772
Email: [email protected]
Website: luton.gov.uk/volunteering