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Volunteer Stories: The volunteer that believes a 'Thank you' and a smile, makes it all worth the while
This blog is part of a series that celebrates the stories of the amazing Community Care Volunteers that have been supporting vulnerable people across Leeds during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read their stories and find out more about the people who have been uplifting their communities.
Tasneem decided to she had to volunteer so that she could help her community, although she is not only a mother but also a full-time career of her own mother.
Tasneem discusses how COVID-19 has impacted her life and why she enjoys volunteering.
How has your daily life changed during COVID19?
I have become busier because I have taken on another part time job within retail and I have started volunteering at CATCH. I am out of the house more now than before COVID-19. I am usually a full time carer for my Mother and I also have a 14 year old daughter, who is going to start volunteering here at CATCH once COVID-19 is over.
Why did I become a LCC volunteer?
I wanted to do something for the community. I’m healthy. I’m able to do it. I feel as though I’ve got a home and I’ve got everything I need. I just wanted to go out and help someone else.
What does your Community Care Volunteer role involve?
My role at CATCH is to do people’s shopping. Once corona is over, I think I’ll still keep shopping for two of the people I’m helping.
During the day, I’m delivering shopping or wherever I’m needed. During the evening, I’m here helping with the collections that come in - sorting them and helping making parcels. I do this two to three times a week.
How has volunteering during the COVID-19 crisis made you feel?
It’s brought home the fact that there’s a need out there, even after COVID-19. There are individuals, especially the elderly out there who need help. They need help with their shopping and are isolated. They can’t get out because of their health. It’s hard for them to bring bags of shopping home and the £3-£4 taxi charge is the difference between having a hot meal or paying for the taxi.
Have you volunteered before?
Yes - I volunteer at Guides, and I have also volunteered before in schools helping children to read. When I was in London, I volunteered for Homestart. It’s been good - I think I’m not doing as much because I’m with my Mum and looking after her.
Do you have a message to anyone thinking about volunteering?
Do it, because it’s worthwhile. When somebody says, ‘Thank you’, and they smile, that’s it. You’ve walked away knowing you’ve done something. I know that I’ve made a difference to somebody, a little difference. I’ve done that.
I took some food from here to an elderly gentleman. I took chicken for him and he goes, ‘I haven’t had chicken in 6 weeks’, so I always take him stuff whenever I can. He’s really grateful. He says it’s a massive difference.
I took some food to a family and when they opened the door they said ‘oh’ because I was wearing a headscarf. I gave them the shopping and then the guy said, ‘thank you, god bless you.’ Then he said ‘actually, Allah bless you.’
Any other comments?
I’m proud to part of CATCH and it’s a fantastic little place and everyone has made me feel so welcome.