As many of you will recognise, Sue is one of the wonderful chefs here (The Coven/The Fork and Brush Arts Cafe) and part of The Old Courts family. She has kindly offered her time during the lockdown to volunteer in the Wigan community.
During the pandemic, your role as a volunteer has had an enormous, positive, direct impact on our community, what do you think it has meant to you?
I loved delivering the food parcels with Eleanor. As a shared experience it was beautiful.
Also, it showed me just how much wonderful work is being done the whole time by kind, generous and inspired people such as Shirley and the team at Fur Klempt. No fuss, just doing it, and in a way that doesn’t view people as victims. That organisation already existing made the lockdown effort so much easier from the very first day.
It was a reminder that there are still areas of poverty. They look and feel different and seem more hidden away these days. It’s easy to forget they exist.
It showed me, both in deliveries and calls, that for some people this experience was just like their normal life - they hardly see anyone anyway. One person can’t talk easily because of that and takes a little while to get her voice going.
Almost everyone has been lovely, regardless of their circumstances. That’s what I think people are, anyway, but it’s been touching to really see it under difficult circumstances.
Have you had any stand out moments during your time volunteering over the last couple of months?
Learning that one of the people I speak to is a published poet. You just never know what a person has done.
Our first delivery was like a Benny Hill sketch without the rudeness. Chaos but fab.
Prior to Covid-19, what was your experience of volunteering?
Just pro-bono work as a therapist I think.
If others in our community are considering volunteering, what are the best reasons to recommend it?
It restores your faith in human nature, if you find that dwindling a little.
Doing good things feels good.
It reminds you that everyone is a person with their own story, and that you can help make that a better story, at least for a little while.