Laura Brogan, University Marketing Assistant signed up to the Coventry Hope Centre’s volunteer service to help vulnerable and elderly people in her local area during the COVID-19 lockdown. She’s been assisting with food shopping and collecting prescription medication for those unable to leave their homes.
We caught up with Laura to find out more…
Can you tell us a bit about your ‘day job’?
"I’m based in the Marketing Services Team within the Engagement Group, where my day-to-day role involves supporting undergraduate and postgraduate student recruitment campaigns. I also manage our student bloggers, support with Degree Apprenticeship marketing and help to manage the marketing resource email account."
And what’s your current situation?
"I’m currently working from home, so I’ve created a makeshift office in the kitchen. But when the sun comes out, I move the office out into the garden!"
What inspired you to volunteer?
"I’ve always been passionate about helping others and offering support to people who are struggling or in need, so as soon as the virus began to develop and restrictions started being put in place, I knew it was a great opportunity for me to support people in the community who needed it most.
My Dad and I started by popping notes through our elderly neighbours’ doors, sharing our contact details just in case they had any essentials they needed picking up if they were too anxious to go out, or they just fancied a telephone call and a chat. When I came across the Coventry Hope Volunteer Service I knew it’d be a great way to remind those people who are vulnerable, or who can’t go out, that they’re not alone and that we’re all here through these strange times."
What would you say to other people considering getting involved in something similar?
"If you’ve ever considered offering your time to a volunteer service to help people, but you just haven’t had the time, I couldn’t think of a better opportunity than now.
I was concerned that I might not have enough time to sustain the volunteering - we always seem to feel pressure to try and fit as much as possible into our daily lives – work, home, friends, family as well as our own wellbeing and fitness. But for me, some of this pressure has been taken off at the moment. So, if you’ve also found yourself with more time on your hands, why not consider using that time to help those in your community who are in need or are more vulnerable? The smallest gesture, such as picking up some essential items or giving somebody a phone call to check in on them and make sure they’re OK can have a really huge impact on someone who’s anxious or in need."
Would you like to continue volunteering in the community once life gets back to ‘normal’?
"There are lots of elements of this time at home which I have enjoyed, and I would definitely say that volunteering in the community is one of those things that I’d like to take forward with me when normal life resumes.
You do feel positive as a result of volunteering; for me it’s all about seeing the smiles and the relief on people’s faces when you deliver that food and you help take away that worry or that concern, and you know that person is no longer anxious about when they might eat their next proper meal or whether they’re going to have the correct medication that they need tomorrow. That’s the most important thing."
Laura Brogan, Marketing Assistant