A huge increase in volunteering is one of the most positive outcomes that we have seen as a result of lockdown and the Covid-19 Pandemic. Where many people have been furloughed (placed on temporary leave by their employers,) some people have found more time to volunteer, and others have simply been called to action by the needs of our local communities.
In Merton, we have seen people volunteer with several different community groups and organisations with the shared aim of helping those in need. These volunteering roles have involved duties such as helping with donations, delivering food packages to individuals who are self-isolating, picking up prescriptions, and sometimes even dog walking. Many would agree that it has been heart-warming to see Merton’s collective response to the Covid-19 Pandemic and how we have all worked together to support one another during these very uncertain times.
On our online Community Hub Wimblecomm, we have kept the people of Merton connected through our Covid-19 Hub which includes a wealth of resources including Covid-19 updates from Merton community groups and organisations, the sharing of positive news, and a regularly updated What’s On page showing some of the fantastic online events that have been happening in our borough. For those that are not aware, Wimblecomm is run by local charity Wimbledon Community Association (WCA,) and with volunteers forming its Trustee Board and governance structure, volunteering is very much at the heart of what we do on Wimblecomm.
So as we follow on from National Volunteers’ Week which took place from 1-7 June, we want to continue to applaud the efforts of Merton’s volunteers, including our own, and invite you to volunteer with us to keep connecting the people of Merton beyond the Covid-19 Pandemic.
As a self-funded charity, volunteering with us does not include any fund-raising but will include awareness raising as we strive to be the online Community Hub for Merton. If you have enjoyed volunteering in Merton during the peak of the Covid-19 Pandemic or did not get a chance to, Wimblecomm and the WCA offer a unique way for you to get involved with the Merton community moving forwards.
Whilst our Volunteering roles are quite varied and unique, some of the people that we are looking for include those who want to write and share their Merton stories our online Community Hub, those who want to spread the word of Wimblecomm in their local communities and online, and those who want to come on board in more of a formal capacity as Trustees to help shape and structure the work that we deliver. Visit our Get Involved page for more information on how you can become a part of Wimblecomm and the WCA and read about the experiences of some of our current Trustees and Volunteers below.
I’ve loved being part of a team that has developed Wimblecomm from a seed of an idea to what it is today. An achievement we should be proud of. I’ve also enjoyed getting to know London Borough of Merton better, both geographically and the community-minded people who live here. – Jackie Chapman, WCA Secretary
As I am new, I have enjoyed understanding what the charity is all about and understanding the relationship between real and virtual space. Key to its success are the wonderful, knowledgeable, and committed people I have met. – Jenny Burrett, WCA Trustee
I’ve been involved in a voluntary capacity with the WCA since 2012. It’s taken a lot of hard work from everyone involved to get the Wimblecomm website to where we are now, but it’s been really rewarding being able to connect people across the Merton community – particularly at this difficult time. My hope is that we will be able to build upon the progress we have made after lockdown has ended and we are able to further develop our mission to become the online community hub for Merton. – David Hall, WCA Trustee and Chair
As a former Trustee, I was truly honoured to support the brilliant work of the WCA. It was so rewarding to help the WCA’s mission to connect people, passions and places come to fruition through Community Hub Wimblecomm. – Sabrina Sostero, former WCA Trustee
As a WCA Volunteer, the range of activities that I have been fortunate enough to engage in have been very special. From reviewing a magical Da Vinci Requiem concert at the Royal Festival Hall, to a humbling classical guitar duo concert and a showcase of Wimbledon’s oldest drama group, opportunities presented to me by the WCA have widened my knowledge and helped me to improve my writing skills. The services offered by the WCA are vital to help maintain the heart of any community: the organisations, charities, and churches which we all need in our lives. I am glad to be a part of it. – Kathie Arundell, WCA Volunteer
On a final note, if you are interested in joining our small charity and becoming part of the WCA family, get in touch and we’ll arrange an informal chat so that we can get to know each other a bit better. We look forward to connecting with you.