Julia is a 52 year old married homemaker who lives in Maldon Town. She has volunteered for a number of years with the Girl Guides and Maldon Panto Society. It was through her voluntary work with the Panto Society that she found out about the Maldon Community Response Team as a fellow volunteer works for the Salvation Army. He then recruited her as the driver for the Urgent Response Team.
Julia’s current role involves delivering the daily emergency food or medication requirements that people across Maldon District have needed during lockdown. She estimates that she volunteers 2-5 hours a day, 5 days per week. Whilst this is more than she originally anticipated, she is ‘really loving’ this role and it has ‘given her something that she is looking for in her life.’
She wanted to volunteer and has found it so rewarding because she feels that she has been so privileged in her life that she wanted to give something back. Also because her parents live in North East England, she has been unable to help them and so has helped others in the hope that someone like her up there will support her parents (they have).
Julia really enjoys undertaking deliveries to people and making a difference to their lives, as she says:
“dropping off the medication and the food parcels to some people who … have got to the absolute bottom. They have got no food, they haven’t been able to get out and have no Internet to make any orders and have no-one to bring anything in for them. And it’s amazing to just be able to help people like that and some people are so grateful it just breaks your heart.”
In two cases Julia has become friends with those she has delivered to, and for one of them she feels that:
“I think I will be friends with her for the rest of her life. It’s been lovely to get to know them. I never would have met her otherwise. And she’s lovely she makes me cheese scones and we took her fish and chips from the takeaway at the weekend.”
This role has made her realise just how many people in her local community need support and she feels that it has ‘given her a much more embedded place in the life of Maldon.’ So much so that after lockdown is over she would like to volunteer with Maldon and District Community Voluntary Service although she is not sure in what capacity yet. She would 100% recommend volunteering to others as she feels that she has ‘gained more from it then she has given.’
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