Day 5 of 100 Days

Sarah Swaysland

Tuesday, 5th January 2021

It was a big day today, with a fair bit to keep me going and three organisations on the roster. It was a really enjoyable day though, and I love it when I'm busy.

What: Shopping and Telephone Befriending
Organisation: Age UK

Today, I started off by going shopping for one of my neighbours, Lady S, who I met when we were matched during the first lockdown by Age UK Merton. She stopped needing my help sometime in August, but as we were local to one another, I would always see her and stop for a chat, and I gave her my number in case she needed anything. What’s great, with it being a Tuesday, is that I got to kill two birds with one stone and phoned Lady T when I was walking to Asda for Lady S. I was interested in getting Lady T’s take on what’s going on at the moment since Boris made the announcement about Tier five restrictions. Not an awful lot has changed for her, except that now we know slightly more about what’s happening (we’re basically not allowed out, we have a vaccine, and the virus is more virulent than ever) there is less that she is sure of (should she be shielding, when will she get the vaccine, and will it actually work?) – and this is all incredibly frustrating.
Lately, Lady T has been binging The Queen’s Gambit because I recommended it as I’ve just finished the book I know she has Netflix and loves chess. She loves it and had to stop herself from watching, lest she never sleep again. Despite everything, I continue to be amazed by Lady T’s resilience. She’s basically not been out since March, apart from a few walks with her dog, and she’s only managed to see her son once which was on Boxing Day. The fact that she’s still in decent spirits confounds me, and I truly admire her for it.

What: Organising an online auction
Organisation: Cricket Without Boundaries (CWB) and Bat For A Chance (BFAC)

I’ve been working with CWB for about a year now, doing social media and design stuff with them. I was really keen to find a volunteering opportunity with a cricket charity after the Cricket World Cup in 2019 because I’d felt a real momentum after that tournament, and I found CWB. It’s a tiny charity, founded in 2005 which uses cricket as a vehicle for social change by going out to countries in sub-Saharan Africa and to Jordan and teaching adults how to be cricket coaches. They then use cricket exercises to help teach kids about HIV, sexual health and gender equality. They have one part-time employee, Lee, who basically runs the show and is the most northern person I know – in a flat cap and real ale sort of way. He hails from Huddersfield and is just about as Yorkshire as they get.

BFAC is a remarkable charity, founded by a 16 year old lad who is currently in his GCSE year. He started following me on Instagram and quite candidly asked me to volunteer for him, which I thought was kinda cool and I immediately said yes! BFAC aims to help underprivileged children experience the joy of cricket, and they collect and source clothing and equipment, both new and high-quality second hand, for dispatch to schools, clubs and academies all around the world.

The two charities really complement one another because BFAC can essentially source supplies which can be given to help the kids on in the CWB countries, and I’m so pleased that I introduced them. What we’re doing at the moment is organising an online auction event for 7th April (because it fits in with Will’s GCSEs –not to make you feel completely inadequate) and we’re going to raise money for both charities. Today, I had a Zoom meeting with an online auction event company who I am considering getting to host the event. It looks really good, as they can handle all the cash transactions and we might also be able to find a way of turning it into a big online event. Will and Lee are going to source some amazing prizes and I’m going to see if I can get an awesome host and do some promo behind it. It’s going to be an amazing way to cap my 100 days (my 100 day shift ends on 10th April) and I’m really looking forward to it.