Last year Re-engage volunteer Bev Owen was awarded the Marsh Christian Trust award for volunteering in support of older people. 

The Marsh Christian Trust celebrate their 40th anniversary this year and, to mark the event, we caught up with Bev about winning the award and how she has supported older people throughout the pandemic.

I was delighted to win the award for Volunteering in Support of Older People 2020 from the Marsh Christian Trust.  My old and trusted hand mixer broke during the first lockdown, so when I won the award, I knew I should buy a new one. The rest of the money will be spent on treats for our guests when we finally get back together again.  

As a Re-engage group coordinator, I've ensured that our guests have received lots of phone calls and cake deliveries throughout the pandemic.   We’ve continued our monthly afternoon tea deliveries, as well as a hot meal kindly donated by a local cafe.

Recently, I've been in contact with St Nicholas Catholic School in Hartford where the secondary school pupils have written almost 200 letters to the guests.  The guests really love reading about what the pupils have been up to and how they've coped during the lockdowns. 

Volunteering for Re-engage has been really rewarding for me.  I love chatting to our guests and I also enjoy the organising and baking.  It feels like the role was made for me.  

It's been a very tough year for all our guests, but I know we've made such a difference. 

During the last 12 months I've been working from home and have had very little contact with colleagues, so the conversations I've had with our guests have been even more special. 

I always come off the phone much brighter for having had a natter with our guests, who I now class as good friends.

I really hope we can all be together again soon in person to have a good chat over an afternoon tea.

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