CARAS Celebrating Volunteers’ Week
We want this newsletter to show our gratitude to our incredible volunteers. First though, we express our support for the protests this week calling for justice for George Floyd’s death and the reform of our structurally racist societies, both in the USA and here in the UK. We share the values of the Black Lives Matter movement. And we are proud that listening to and amplifying truly diverse voices and experiences is at the heart of our work. Nevertheless, we can and will do more within our own organisation to model the change we want to see as we strive for social justice in an actively anti-racist future.
A Message From Eleanor Brown, CARAS Managing Director:
We’re celebrating Volunteer Week at a moment in global history when the role of volunteering has never been clearer. Everyone has had to step into new ways of supporting each other, whether through a formal role or via simple acts of neighbourliness and extra care for each other. CARAS has gone through remarkable transformations since lockdown began in March. We moved everything from face-to-face, group activities that took up every inch of space we could find to a virtual offer carried out from bedrooms, kitchen tables, back gardens and windowsills, connecting via phone and video as much as we possibly can. We have reached hundreds of people and have succeeded in delivering a virtual timetable of holistic support not too far off our previous offer. We have run homework support, art, drama, English classes, discussions, youth club and yoga, and kept vital casework running to support people through complex challenges in their lives.
Volunteer engagement is so strong that we are often able to offer one-to-one support at each activity. Delivery of online teaching, videos to combat loneliness, conversation and discussion, casework and fundraising efforts have all been spearheaded by our amazing volunteer team, with lots of support from our highly committed board of trustees.
We also know that some of you have stepped up to new roles in your local communities, joining the huge swathe of people helping each other out with shopping, phone calls to combat loneliness, and caring for vulnerable people in your families. We know that to volunteer in ordinary times takes a lot of energy and dedication, and that’s even more true now when it involves developing new skills to be able to do it. It has been challenging, confusing, and incredible to watch everything ultimately come together.
We want to thank all of our incredible volunteers for what you have made possible.
Eleanor, May 2020
We Gathered Some Comments From The People You Support:
They are extremely generous and kind. When I came to CARAS I met them, they are extremely generous, they’ve helped the people a lot in CARAS, for many things they helped us, they’re respectful, I wish they will be here more, and thanks a lot to volunteers. This is not big but I wrote it inside my heart.
They are happy and nice to people. They also made CARAS be where all the immigrants feel equal.
We’ve put together a word cloud from lots of young people’s contributions:
CARAS Young Leaders Talk Volunteering:
Volunteering is for everyone. Check out our YOUTUBE CHANNEL and listen to CARAS young people talking about their own volunteering experience in the community.