My Wednesday nights over the last few months took a turn for the better when I was charged with facilitating CCNB’s Skilling Up! Program via Zoom. I never expected to be personally moved by meeting people online, who had a genuine interest in supporting others in what is a time of significant turmoil.
The Skilling Up! Program is specifically designed for volunteers working in the community. What started off being a general information and skills exchange ended up being a stark example of our community at work.
CCNB volunteers are local citizens who have put up their hand to support others at their point of need. Volunteers have a range of different backgrounds, lived and work experience. No one is the same. But what binds people together is a genuine desire to make a difference to others.
In one of these Wednesday night session, I was reminded about the current relevance of the old Nigerian proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child”
At one of the sessions a volunteers asked a question to the group. She has been supporting Harry who is hard of hearing and is currently due to COVID feeling very disconnected. He can’t go out and no one visits him. He can’t really use the phone and gets angry when people try to call him. It is such a frustrating time for Harry. The volunteer explained she felt helpless as she wanted to visit Harry but the COVID-19 restrictions meant she had to social distance. What transpired was a fabulous and genuine interaction across Zoom. Ideas were shared, support was given and optimism was encouraged. The group came up with practical ideas that offered connection with Harry to reduce his feelings of isolation. At the same time, the volunteer was empowered to work differently with Harry to combat the situation.
Whilst Harry is a 86 year old man and not a child, it was indeed a “Village” that is helping him to stay well and connected. Thank you to our wonderful CCNB Community volunteers!
Marika from CCNB.