Daily essentials and dog walks - Helping the vulnerable during lockdown

Like millions of people across Britain, our digital marketing executive, Ben Hammond, found himself taking a short break from work during COVID-19. After an initial period of online learning and home DIY, Ben felt like he needed to do more for his local community so he contacted Essex Wellbeing Service.

The volunteering service enabled him to bring together a number of his passions in life; volunteering, helping others, dog walking, and exploring the great outdoors.   

A bit about Essex Wellbeing Service - They support all Essex residents with easy access and referral to all the wellbeing services they need. A big part of this amazing service is recruiting and connecting volunteers, like Ben, with Essex residents needing support with everyday tasks. 

We spoke to Ben about his ongoing volunteering with the wellbeing service.

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Name – Ben Hammond

Job title – Digital Marketing Executive

Date you started at Midwich – 7.1.2019

Q Please tell us how you have been volunteering your time during COVID-19?

A: Since March I have been volunteering with Essex Wellbeing Service to help vulnerable people who are shielding with day to day jobs, such as weekly food shopping, food parcels, picking up prescriptions, and dog walking.

Q: Why did you choose to volunteer your time?

A: I’ve been taking a break from work so I wanted to make good use of my time - I’ve been doing some online training courses and some DIY, but there was plenty of time left to fill and I felt it was important to try and help people that were having a hard time during the lockdown.

I love dogs, so it’s nice to be able to take them for a walk and explore new places. Volunteering has also been a good opportunity to have a chat with and check in on people, particularly the elderly or those living alone.

I’ve got to know the black labrador well (pictured), she’s called Autumn, and has the silkiest, smoothest fur, I'll certainly miss her when the world returns to normality. Her owner has been shielding since March so it's been great to make a difference and support people (and four-legged friends) in my community.

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Q: How many hours have you volunteered, to date?

A: In the region of about 40 hours, I’d say. I haven’t really been counting, it’s just been nice getting fresh air and exploring!     

Please provide a website link to the organisation

https://www.essexwellbeingservice.co.uk/