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Volunteer Case Study: Robert's Story

Robert explains what it means for him to be a volunteer visitor for Turn2us.

                      Photo of Robert        

Robert has been one of our visitors for the last ten years, having first seen the role promoted by the charity Reach.

Robert currently visits 17 individuals for Turn2us. He also volunteers for Help Musicians UK and for a local hospital where he carries out patient satisfaction surveys. Robert’s enjoyment of his volunteering comes from his ability to communicate, empathise and understand. This allows Robert to write excellent visit reports for the Caseworker, painting a clear picture of the people he visits.

No two visits are the same

In Robert’s experience, no two visits are the same and it is important to be able to understand and to report in writing what the existing circumstances of the individual receiving a grant are. He says: “This will provide an insight and paint a picture to the Caseworker and enable appropriate and focused assistance."

Robert finds most individuals receiving grants are welcoming, chatty and interested in knowing what is going on with the organisation.

Taking the time

During his visits, Robert takes time to talk, question but most importantly listen and show compassion and understanding of the situation. Preparation before the visit is important, including recalling any issues that were highlighted during the previous visit, how the person managed them and, in many cases, were able to move on from them. Robert comments, “It is a case of finding the balance between being objective and also being in a position to see what and how support can be given”.

He talks about the personal circumstances of two of the current individuals he visits:

Individual A is someone who has developed a life limiting illness and when he visits, he can see at first hand the toll that it is taking on his partner.  However, they are always most welcoming, chatty and have a positive approach towards trying to cope. 

Individual B has a debilitating medical condition which can make leading a normal life a great struggle. However, he is always really appreciative of the help he receives from Turn2us, commenting that he feels that there are others who are probably worse of than himself.

Coronavirus Information

My child's school is closing due to the coronavirus outbreak. What can I do?

The government has announced that schools will be closing for the majority of students from 20 March 2020.

Children in the following groups will still be able to go to school if their parents choose to send them:

  • The children of key workers
  • Children receiving support from social services
  • Children with disabilities
  • Children with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs​)
  • Young carers

If you need to take time off work to care for your children, you should check your employment rights on the ACAS website.

What if I am well but my employer tells me not to work because of the coronavirus outbreak?

This will depend on your contract and is an employment law issue. You may be able to get advice from ACAS on this. You will not be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

What if I have been in contact with someone with coronavirus and don’t want to go to work and risk infecting my colleagues and customers?

You will only be able to get special help under the coronavirus rules if you are self-isolating in accordance with NHS advice. You can find the current NHS coronavirus advice on the NHS website

What if I am not getting any customers in my self-employed business because of the coronavirus?

You may be able to claim Universal Credit, but you will not be entitled to any special support because of the coronavirus outbreak. You may have the minimum income floor applied to your claim, or you may be required to look for full time-employment.

I’m on a zero-hours contract, will I get paid if I’m told to self isolate?

If you are self-isolating in accordance with NHS guidance and you usually earn at least £120 per week, you should get Statutory Sick Pay even if you are on a zero hours contract.

What if I am homeless with no income so can’t self-isolate and need funds for accommodation?

The government has not published any guidance for what you should do if you are homeless and develop coronavirus symptoms. It would be best to contact your local authority for advice. You should do so by telephone if at all possible.