Riverside launches new volunteer Buddies service to support customers

Riverside has launched a new initiative coinciding with national Volunteers’ Week for colleagues to offer bespoke volunteering support services to further engage with vulnerable customers across the country.

Grace Connor

The new Scheme Buddy service offers additional support for Riverside’s frontline teams across its communities who are facing up to the challenges and additional pressures presented by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Buddies link up with managers to discuss the specific engagement needs of customers at supported services and Retirement Living schemes, providing bespoke activity packs, information of available learning opportunities as well as researching and delivering virtual quizzes to support customer well-being, helping to counter any potential feelings of isolation and loneliness.

The new Scheme Buddies service launched on Monday and so far 23 colleagues from Riverside have volunteered to focus their support on helping customers who may be continuing to isolate across Riverside’s supported services and Retirement Living schemes.

Riverside is holding its volunteering month throughout June enabling colleagues to continue to volunteer to support customers to tackle the COVID crisis. Since before lockdown, more than 210 Riverside volunteers have stepped up to assist shielding customers by making vital food deliveries, as well as making phone calls to check on the health and well-being of more than 7,500 vulnerable residents.

Lee Bailey, Riverside’s Volunteering Manager – said:  “The Scheme Buddy role is Riverside’s latest micro-volunteering opportunity enabling colleagues to volunteer to provide much-needed support to our services from their own homes during lockdown and beyond.

“Volunteers enrich Riverside’s services and support customers with tailored activities matched to needs, which can help to increase confidence by developing new frontline skills, as well as providing a different perspective on day-to-day back office work.

“Volunteering has a huge positive impact for Riverside and continues to be essential for the well-being of our customers and colleagues during the COVID crisis.”

For more details of the Scheme Buddy service or how to volunteer with Riverside please email Lee Bailey: [email protected] or call 07815 006715.