Looking back over the past few years it’s fair to say Southampton Sight has found new ways and means to serve the local V.I. community. The old adage ‘with crisis comes’ opportunity’ has never rung so true. But likewise, ‘many hands make light work,’ and it is an understatement to say that sometimes these opportunities can only be realised by the commitment and dedication of our fabulous volunteers. With this in mind, we felt it about time we showed our appreciation of the wonderful community who came together, looked out for each other, and supported our members through these unprecedented times. A little TLC, some good food, and lot of fun was in order.

With the continued support of Cook, we pulled out all the culinary stops and set about laying on a decadent meal fit for our princely volunteers. Spirits were high, the coffee was flowing, and by the time the somewhat boozy but undeniably delicious after dinner chocolates made the rounds it was clear the thank you lunch was doing it’s job. Giving up their time week in and week out, it was a true delight to be able to give back to those who have given us so much, and as the final nibbles were being enjoyed just how much had been achieved came into focus as the attention turned to quizzing.

On each table a plethora of cards appeared, each marked with an ambiguous statistic corresponding to achievements met over the pandemic – 1st April 2020 – 31st March 2022. Attendees had to decide amongst themselves which card answered which question and hold it aloft. Playing for pride, bragging rights, and a bouquet of flowers, the breadth and scale of the answers was truly enlightening.  From meals delivered, buddy calls made, and referrals for information and advice given, the numbers were well into the thousands. Factor in miles driven, social groups hosted, and the number of hours spent on the phone, the dedication, effort, genuine care and support provided over the past few years has been undeniably staggering, and heart-warming:

 Meals Project

  • 2,708 meals delivered
  • 75 people supported
  • 4,950 miles driven by volunteers delivering meals

Buddy Calls

  • 7,113 buddy calls
  • 96 buddies supported
  • 1,778 hours spent on the telephone

Referrals for Information, Advice & Guidance

  • 911 people supported
  • 2,744 referrals
  • 6,536 phone call or e-mail support

In the most difficult of times, we all need to adapt and evolve, but without the support and willingness of those around us it can be a stressful and thankless task. No one – or charity – is an island, a little help and support makes all the difference. As the above shows, we here at Southampton Sight are blessed with not just a little help, but a platoon of caring, dedicated, and empathetic givers, volunteers who week in and week outthink of others and their needs, and provide the backbone of our charity, allowing us to keep supporting the local V.I. community. Without them we are nothing, and as the last of them left with a full stomach and a handful of flowers it felt good to have given them a taste of their own kindness, if only for a day.

 

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