At age twenty, Sophie is one of our youngest Volunteero stars. Living at home with her grandparents, she has already volunteered her time to both the British Heart Association and Tiny Lives, which supports specialised services for premature babies. Sophie was born eleven weeks early, so raising funds for Tiny Lives was her way of paying homage to the forces that enabled her survival.
As Deputy Team Manager for the National Health Service’s Contact Center, Sophie supports her team in manning the NHS 111 service line which has been so vitally important over recent months. The nature of her job has allowed her to remain working remotely during the pandemic. She is certain that this has helped preserve her sanity. When the NHS offered their employees the opportunity to volunteer, she first worried about her ability to navigate the Volunteero app. Fortunately, she found the app to be self-explanatory, straightforward, and even something that would enable her to volunteer more from home.
When phone befriending on behalf of the NHS, Sophie spoke to people facing such difficult times, isolated from family and friends. She found that just normal chit chat about Christmas, daily routines and television programs was enough to make a meaningful difference.
“One of the ladies I spoke to literally hadn’t left the house all year...and spent her birthday alone. She was just really appreciative of the phone call and was very lovely,” said Sophie.
Under more normal circumstances, Sophie would be socialising with friends, traveling, and browsing the shops. This year, though, she had to cancel three adventures to places such as Tenerife, Spain. Now she keeps her balance through taking daily walks, shopping online, and connecting through work. Volunteering has opened her eyes to the needs of those more isolated in our current crisis; and what better time to recognise the importance of connecting and maintaining community? Kudos to our Volunteero of the week, Sophie.