Day 53 of 100 Days

Sarah Swaysland

Monday, 22nd February 2021

My son went back to school today, which meant I could use my hours to get back to volunteering without having to worry about childcare for a few hours. I actually managed to get loads in today, which is very pleasing. As well as some good volunteer jobs, I had a couple of really great conversations and also learned some new things…

What: Shopping for my neighbour
Organisation: Age UK

I began the day with shopping for my neighbour. Lady S was in really good spirits when I dropped off the shopping today, and that was great to see. She received a letter about her Covid jab and needs to call them to book it in, but bless her, she’s nervous. In all honesty, I don’t blame her for being nervous, because so much has gone wrong in the last year, but luckily the vaccine rollout is one of the things that’s gone well – so I tried to reassure her. My parents have both had theirs and have got their second jabs booked in. I’m so desperate to get down to Weymouth to see them, and really want them to see their Grandson. He’ll not only have grown about six inches since they last saw him, but he’ll also be so much more conversational than he was the last time, and this will please them no end. He’s never been completely non-verbal with his autism, but there are significant language delays, and he finds it difficult to express himself. His teacher is incredible and seems to have so much love for the children she teaches – every day, I feel so lucky.

What: Small Society Lottery License
Organisation: Dons Local Action Group

20th March will be the one year anniversary of the formation of DLAG, and they want to mark it by running a raffle to raise some money which will help them continue the amazing work they do. After a text from the fundraising WhatsApp group last night where Rosie asked if anyone could research what to do when trying to set-up a raffle, I put my hand up and offered to do some research.

Some things I learned today:
• You need to get a license from your council
• It counts as gambling – because it’s technically a lottery
• All tickets have to be of the same value – prices for multiple vouchers must be the same. This makes me wonder if churches are technically breaking the law when they say 25p each or five for a pound in their raffles
• You need to submit a ‘return report’ after you’ve done the raffle - kind of like a tax return I guess, but you get to keep all the money

I passed all this info to one of the DLAG founders, who will hopefully be getting it all set-up presently. I'm not sure how long it takes to get a license, but the council indicated that it might be a couple of weeks. Fingers-crossed it won't be too long.

In the afternoon, I took a call from the founder of a really interesting tech organisation called Volunteero. It’s an app which makes it easy for volunteers to find opportunities and easy for charities to manage their volunteers. We spoke for about half an hour about what we both do, and I’m really interested in what they do because when I first started volunteering in earnest it was really difficult to find decent platforms which offered a large variety of volunteering opportunities. They’re a social enterprise, so while they’re not quite a not-for-profit, everything they do goes back into the business in order to help make the world a better place. I now have access to a test account and I’m going to be offering feedback – I will hopefully be working with them some more, as it looks like a really exciting business.

I also had a good catch-up with Ian from Charity Excellence Framework. It’s always good to chat to Ian, as I tend to always learn something new. Today, he was telling me about where he gets all of his amazing resources from. But I’m not going to tell you – because that would be telling.

I had prepared to take on an extra Shout shift in the evening, because the platform always sees a spike in texters whenever there’s an announcement from the government. When I hopped on just before 8pm though, there were many more volunteers than conversations going on, so I wasn’t actually needed. This might mean that some other volunteers had the same idea as me and wanted to check-in just in case it was busy, or (and I hope it’s this one) the announcement gave people hope and made them feel a bit more positive. If everything goes to plan, life should be back to ‘normal’ by 21st June which gives us something to work towards. As someone who is right in the middle of a 100 day challenge, I can fully attest to the fact that having something a goal to work towards is hugely important. I’m just glad that the mood is feeling slightly more positive, as there has been too much darkness in the last year. Onwards and upwards!!!