4 June

Keri providing volunteering support in Cornish communities

Volunteers' Week is a time to celebrate our unsung heroes who have given up their own time during the pandemic to help people
Keri Millar

As soon as it emerged that our nation was in the grip of a pandemic, LiveWest launched an emergency effort to provide further support to our customers.

Thousands of welfare calls were made to check on our most vulnerable customers’ wellbeing to deal with a host of queries and referring them to an appropriate team for most specialist advice.

We brought together our Community and Neighbourhood teams as well as colleagues across the organisation to spearhead the welfare project.

Outside of work hours, our Community Investment colleagues have been given up their own time to volunteer in our neighbourhoods.

Following the outbreak of coronavirus, Community connector Keri Millar signed up to Volunteer Cornwall, a charity dedicated to developing active and engaged people through volunteering.

The move saw Keri regularly doing food shopping for customers who were anxious about leaving their homes.

She also collected medical prescriptions for our customers who were shielding in their homes. 

Keri said: “It was a pleasure to be able to play my part in helping our communities.

“The volunteering effort was phenomenal with so many people signing up to support the most vulnerable in society. 

“I have been helping our residents at Rosehill Gardens and they still ring me now to collect prescriptions and parcels. It’s the least I can do.

“Volunteer Cornwall did a fabulous job in directing support in an effective way and after restrictions started to be eased as they supported people with a befriending service and set up walking buddies for people nervous about going out.

“People were so appreciative and what struck me was how frightened some people were about leaving their own homes.”

One welfare call made by Keri still resonates today as she reflects on the last 15 months.

Keri added: “I spoke to a lady who was 90 years of age and she had had the most colourful of lives.

“She had emailed down church towers and had done some crazy activities and was still fiercely independent.

“She phoned me on a bank holiday weekend as she had bought a hob for her flat and there was a shelf in the way which she couldn’t move.

“There was nobody else around to help her, so I nipped over to hers to help move the shelf and install the hob. She would had done it herself but she is quite frail.

“I then asked if she wanted to help to pick up any of her medication, but she wanted to get them herself as it got her out of the house.

“I also did an emergency delivery of a food parcel for a homeless man in St Just. I love volunteering and being able to help people. 

“Volunteers’ Week is a great way to recognise all the selfless acts people have made, especially during the pandemic.”

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