Well this past few weeks i have been very busy organising the two events we have going on in September, the fun day on the 8th September and the 80s Night and auction AND the prize draw for the raffle on the 21st September. We were also informed this past week that we have been voted to be one of the charities to collect on torchlight night on the 13th September so i have to try and organise volunteers for that, not an easy thing to do especially when we are told we need approx 20 collectors (GULP).
There are always high times and low times working in the One Voice office, The low times is when we see the health of members deteriate or when members sadly die, when funding is scace or when in the winter it gets so cold your feet are like blocks of ice.
However the highs certainly out weigh those lows, for example this past week we had a lady in who was really wary about using a scooter so we did a little driving test that we do with everyone and her whole face lit up when she got the hang of it, she did tell me she was only going to be 20 mins and will not go on the main street as didn't feel confident enough, however she was out well over 2hrs and came back with a huge smile on her face. This is not the first time this has happenened, some people are scared of what others will say if they see them on a scooter, for some it is a pride thing, although once they have been given our test and they have been out for hours getting to places and shops they otherwise wouldn't have been able to if walking or relying on someone to puch them in a wheelchair they come back with a huge smile on their faces and a declaration of WHY haven't i used a scooter before. The thanks we get of people when they have been on a scooter or been helped out in another way makes our jobs worthwhile.
Other Highs are when we get a grant through or fundraising events go to plan or when we get a nice phone call to say that we have been awarded a Bay "Summer of Difference" grant to go towards the cost of a new scooter, The Bay Radio have been a fantastic support to "One Voice" helping us promote the fun day we had in May and offering to help at next years, we were invited last week to a cruise on Lake Windermere by them which was amazing, the sun shone, the food was great and the drinks were flowing nicely, and this week Myself (Em) and my daughter popped to Lancaster to The Bay Studios to see Shane Filan (Ex westlife singer) as he is promoting his new album and The Bays Managing director came outside and saw us sat there and invited us in as we are clients of The Bay so we got to see Shane perform one of his new songs and we got our pictures with him, to say we were excited is an understatement (I went back to being 14 and a teeny bopper). So there you go the many highs and the few lows of our job here at One Voice. All in all though its our members that make our jobs worthwhile the thanks we get from them or the knowing that we have made a small difference to their day.
To the many of you that don't know who we are or what we do, and have come across this page via a link probably plastered over facebook, here is a little bit about us......Pam is the project manager she has been running what was Shopmobility and what is now known as One voice for 15 years today 22/6/13, so a long time. She does all the grant applications of which there are many, the travelling to and from places to deliver scooters, visiting people in their homes to help fill in benefits forms and give any advice needed and also does the maintenance of the scooters. Emma is the assistant and also events coordinator (so the one that posts all the time on facebook for events happening and begging people to help out with events), Emma volunteered here first for a fair few years and has been employed for 5 years. We have a few volunteers who help when they can either in the office, at one of our events or when we do street collections, although more would be lovely so if anyone has a couple of hours to spare a week and would like to help out then please let us know, we are very welcoming.
Every day is different in here, most days we are busy with people wanting to hire out scooters or to sit down and have chat, other days when its quiet because the weather is bad and no one wants to come in to town we are busy either writing grant applications (Pam) or coming up with fund raising ideas and promoting them (Em) or like today raising awareness of who we are and what we do.
Our members especially the long term ones that have been with us through thick and thin the past few years are like a big family to us, and when we were given our redundancies a couple of years ago as a shopmobility scheme due to loss of funding (of which many shopmobility schemes had the same problem, unless they had lovely understanding councils that fully supported them) it was them that was behind our focus to keep fighting and fighting we did (not literally). We came out the other side smiling and with determination to stay here for as long as we can, as there are many people that rely on the services that One Voice offer not just the hiring of items or the advice part but more importantly, having someone that will listen to them and to having someone to talk to, especially if they themselves don't have family close by.
One Voice is getting more and more people through the door on a daily basis, people asking for grants and benefits advice is a huge part of what we do as well as people asking for travel and tourism advice or wanting to buy mobility aids of which we sell plenty or order them in for people. We have a huge array of items that people can hire if on holiday in the lakes or if someone has a family member coming to visit or even if you are needing equipment and just waiting for it to arrive, so all in all we have a lot to offer the people of Kendal and the South Lakes and those visiting.
So there you have it, a bit more about us and what we do on a day to day basis and some, if you would like to help us in any way with volunteering or helping