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Meet Lorraine

Busy Mum, Lorraine, found the flexibility of the Digital Buddy volunteer role made it really easy to take part and different to other volunteering roles.

Lady and boy

Lorraine recalls her experience of being a Digital Buddy in the Connect Project pilot.

“I decided to become a Digital Buddy because I always wanted to volunteer for a charity. However, being a mum you have time restraints and I couldn’t physically be there. So, this role gave me the flexibility to be able to volunteer but within the comfort of my own home.”

Lorraine was a Digital Buddy in the 10 week Connect Project pilot this summer. She describes what her role was as a Digital Buddy.

“Digital Buddies give additional support. After you have received information from a Benefits Calculation via the helpline or the website, Digital Buddies give you additional support to help you take the next step. They help you emotionally and practically to get through the benefits application, or the next steps, once you have found out what you are entitled to.”

Being a Digital Buddy is a digital volunteering role, meaning volunteers participate online. Digital roles are great for people with busy lives that want to make a difference, like Lorraine.

“The flexibility of this role makes it really easy to take part and different to other volunteering roles” Lorraine added.

Digital Buddies aren’t experts or advice givers. Lorraine found it hard when she didn’t have all the answers to give her Connection.

“Its hard not being able to give them all of the help they need. Naturally you would want to go above and beyond for them. So when they are asking questions that you don’t have the answer to or you have to point them in another direction, I felt quite bad that I didn’t have that knowledge for them.”

What Digital Buddies can do however is build their Connection’s confidence to take the next steps and apply for the benefits or other financial support they are entitled to.

“The highlight of my experience was knowing that I helped. When I got to the end of a conversation with someone or we had been speaking for a couple of days going back and forth via messaging and I found out they had completed the next step. You really feel that you have achieved something in helping them to take action.”

The official launch of the Connect Project will be in February 2019.

Lorraine had this advice for the next group of Digital Buddies.

“Every single person is different and their needs and requirements of you are different. So no two conversations are the same but every conversation is worth it.”

If you want to be a Digital Buddy starting February 2019, apply to volunteer with Turn2us now.

Photo: Turn2us stock photo showing models has been used and the volunteer's name has been changed for confidentiality reasons.