Ben’s Workforce: Volunteer and Make a Difference in Your Local Community
Part of the work we do is a paid-for service for people in North Norfolk aged over 65 who need someone to do small maintenance and repair jobs around the home. The jobs are carried out by Ben's Workforce, a team of staff and volunteers all of whom are approved and trained. We are now reaching out to expand the team of volunteers to ensure we can continue to support people in the community who rely on the service.
“We carry out low level maintenance and repairs to enable older people to remain independent in their own homes for longer.” Ben’s Workforce Coordinator, Jamie Brown explains.
The kinds of jobs volunteers carry out include putting up shelves, assembling furniture, gardening jobs, fitting access ramps and decorating. It’s a service that has a real impact as being unable to complete basic tasks around the home can often be a contributing factor to older people losing their independence and moving into care.
Jamie recalls several occasions where people have ended up lighting candles because they are physically unable to climb or reach a lightbulb to change it and the resulting stress and anxiety that these circumstances may cause. Jamie is proud that Ben’s Workforce is able to complete jobs such as this for a fraction of the cost of some tradesmen.
The impact of Ben’s Workforce can be seen when the bigger pictured is considered.
“We were once called to a house to install a ramp.” He continues.
“But when we completed the job, the customer explained that the ramp was for her husband who hadn’t been out of the house for months because he couldn’t manage the steps. Its circumstances like this where we are really making a huge difference to the lives of people in our community.”
“We also helped the family of a gentleman who had suffered a stroke to install some decking and put up a Summer House which they had purchased a few months previously and didn’t have the opportunity to build it before he was taken ill. We returned a few months later and it was wonderful to see him enjoying his garden again.”
We are welcoming applications from more people wishing to become a community volunteer to support the scheme.
“Volunteers can give as much time as they wish. Although we cover North Norfolk from Wells to Stalham and Aylsham to Fakenham, they can cover an area which is convenient for them.”
Some knowledge of DIY and maintenance is required, however training and support is provided to volunteers. Volunteer mentors are also required for a new intergenerational element of Ben’s Workforce, the aim of which is to offer skills programmes to young people we support to give them a basic understanding of DIY and maintenance. This will help with their future prospects and also give them the confidence to carry out maintenance in their own homes, further supporting their progress to independence.
Jamie continues. “We’d love to hear from people interested in supporting Ben’s Workforce. We can be flexible around volunteers’ own commitments. It’s an opportunity to be part of a team which is making a difference in your local community, which means the world to the people we help.”
“We recently received a handwritten thank you letter from a lady we completed some work for several months ago and it simple said ‘I haven’t forgotten all that you did for me.”
If you are interested in being part of a team to support people in your local area, please contact Ben’s Workforce on 01263 826854 or visit our volunteering page to view the Community Volunteer Role Description and Application Form