At Dimensions, our volunteers make a difference to people we support and their teams by bringing something extra – whether that’s sharing a specialist skill or befriending a person we support and enjoying activities together. During the coronavirus pandemic, some volunteers have been able to adapt what they do as ‘virtual volunteers’ so that people we support don’t miss out. Tracey Dowling is one volunteer who has shown how effective virtual volunteering can be, not least by reminding us how shared passions can transcend barriers.
Here is Tracey’s story, in her own words.
“I have been volunteering with Dimensions (Outreach 3Way) for two years as a dance assistant, and I can honestly say it’s the highlight of my week. Having danced and performed all my life, I’m a great believer that a good boogie lifts your spirits and feeds the soul. During my time with Dimensions, it has been wonderful to see the levels of confidence grow among people we support, to be part of that process and to make friendships along the way.
“The class is so much fun and we enjoy choosing music together, creating routines and chatting about our week. There is a mixture of structured routines and free-style dancing, which gives every member of the class a chance to shine.
“When the Covid virus hit and the day centre was forced to close temporarily, I missed the Friday morning classes and everyone who attended. Wondering how I could fill the gap and keep the class smiling, I started to make short videos of our weekly routines. They were posted on social media and were very well received! Even though we can’t be together in the same room, the video classes mean that we can have fun any day of the week – not just Friday mornings.”
Tracey kindly shared her videos on Facebook so that they are available for people we support anywhere to view: click here to see the latest one and here for an example of a seated dance. Thank you to Tracey for sharing this story, and to all of our volunteers for their continued dedication and enthusiasm.
If you are interested in volunteering with us, please email the volunteering team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 303 9162.