Wessex Community Action

Wessex Community Action has recieved a grant for its Salisbury Compassionate Community Scheme.

The project is being run in partnership with Salisbury City Council.

The grant is funding staff, volunteer and IT costs for the network that was developed in just a few weeks to cope with the demand. “We are really grateful for the grant and it has allowed us to carry on,” said CEO Amber Skyring.

She said more than 130 people have signed up to volunteer their time to help more than 150 people in Salisbury with shopping and collecting medicines.

“We have had an amazing response from people of all walks of life and all ages. We have had people in their 70s coming forward. We have set up a shopping card system with the council so all our volunteers can access that if they need to and then we can invoice residents afterwards.”

Mrs Skyring said the group has focused on ensuring volunteers build up a rapport with the people they are assigned to. “We are allocating one volunteer for four residents so that they build up a relationship and they develop a sense of taking care of those particular residents. That volunteer also becomes their go-to person.”.

The charity plans to utilise its volunteers who are over 70 to run a befriending service for people struggling to cope with the isolation.

Mrs Skyring said: “We are starting to see that people's, because they have been in isolation now for quite a long time, mental health is starting to dip. We are able to give information about what they can access but they can also let us know if they need more support other than shopping and we will be able to provide it.”

To help provide support and advice for voluntary groups across the area the charity has set up a Covid-19 page on its website with useful resources.

As well as videos and guidance on safe volunteering there are templates for volunteer agreements, data protection, information about prescription runs, DBS guidance and advice for befriending. 

Grant awarded: