Volunteering for BBB
Volunteer Lisa Warren describes a day in the life of a BBB volunteer:
“I have two young boys, am active in my older son’s PTA, work 3 days a week in London, and have a husband who is away 50% of the time, so on paper I shouldn’t have time to volunteer for BBB, but it’s one thing I make sure I find the time to do, because it’s so enormously enjoyable and rewarding. So in a strange way being a volunteer is actually “me” time.
Referrals can come in at any time and every one of them is different. I try to make sure I do no more than one at a time, although I do sometimes help out in emergencies. Typically once I take a referral on I will try, where possible, to speak to the mum and go through the list of what’s needed plus the practicalities of delivery. I often find that the parents are reluctant to ask for “too much” but when I speak to them it transpires they do really need more than was originally asked for. And I also sometimes have to reassure them about the “charity” aspect, because understandably many of the people I have dealt with feel embarrassed and upset to be in so much need. I tell them that it’s just as if the items are being passed to them by a friend of a friend – and that they are probably doing that person a favour taking stuff of their hands.
We have a fantastic group of people who follow us on the Facebook page, and quite often I will have to request specific items that we don’t have in storage. I am always amazed by the instant response and quite draw-dropping generosity of our supporters; I have always been offered whatever is needed (and often in duplicate). Depending on the item and location, sometimes people drop things off at my house or sometimes I will go and collect from them. This has led to some funny situations where I’ve rendezvoused with people outside coffee shops and alike. I also usually do a trip to our storage facility to make use of the things we already have in stock.
Deliveries can vary: sometimes I go directly to a person’s house or sometimes it’s via a health visitor, refuge officer, midwife or other professional. From time to time (depending on the circumstances) my sons come with me in the car, and I would hope that over time they will pick up on what I’m doing and learn the importance of helping others. When I do make deliveries directly it’s always great to see and hear first-hand what a difference this will make.
Being a volunteer for BBB is genuinely a pleasure and I would encourage anyone who has some spare time to give it a go and join our team of what my (superhero-obsessed) son calls “power mummies”! ”