Volunteers Week 2022: Making a difference to people's lives
The Wrekin Housing Group is pledging more than 2,500 volunteer days a year to help local communities and good causes.
Wrekin is actively supporting its employees in their efforts to volunteer across a wide range of activities and causes in their local communities. Staff can take up to an extra two days leave a year, dedicated to volunteering and making a difference.
Wrekin, who provide over 13,000 homes for across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Staffordshire, has seen its employees come forward and volunteer across the communities it services. A number of staff are using their days to support causes that matter to them.
Mark Perez works as a Support Services Manager for the housing association’s Specials Housing Services Team. He also volunteers his time as a board member of Just Credit Union
Mark said: “Just Credit Union are there to support these people. To offer them the opportunity to access affordable loans and to signpost them to other organisations if they have other challenges in their lives too. It gives people the chance to come up with savings of their own for the first time in their lives, which is really nice to be part of.
“It’s also important to us that people can become more financially self-sufficient over time, so that they can learn how to save – often we have people who borrow and re-borrow from us but the size of the loans diminish more and more each time they need a loan, as they become more financially independent.”
Susan Palin helps Wrekin’s tenants boost their income in her role as Welfare Benefits Advisor. In her spare time, she volunteers as an Appropriate Adult with a local charity. YSS was established in 1986 and now supports 2,000 individuals each year across West Mercia. The charity’s work is based in local communities with rehabilitation and prevention services: early help in family centres, young carers, veterans and Women at risk of offending and young people at risk.
“Volunteering is a great thing to do if you have time. YSS recruit volunteers from all walks of life and you’re not expected to have any specific education or formal qualifications. I’ve been lucky enough to have some fantastic training and even though the role can sometimes be challenging, I have gained so much during my time with YSS.”
Wrekin’s Jason Scott has been involved with football for over 30 years, having coached at both AFC & Stafford Town FC – where he is inspiring the next generation of young footballers.
Jason said: “I was lucky enough to play at a decent level myself. I work with all age groups – from 11-year olds right through to the seniors. It’s massively rewarding when you see players coming through and responding well to your coaching.
“I live and breathe football. I feel every kick and save the players make. The game has given me so much over the years, so it’s good to give something back.”
Many Wrekin staff have given their time to help those in need - including shopping for neighbours, delivering food or medical prescriptions to vulnerable or elderly people, making welfare and befriending calls as well as joining the NHS vaccination effort. Others have taken part in litter picks, volunteered at food banks and supported a wide range of charities across our area.
David Wells, Executive Director of Operations at The Wrekin Housing Group said:
“We are committed to supporting the communities in which both our tenants and staff live and work. We also have a strong tradition of throwing ourselves into fundraising, charity events and volunteering.
“We know that many colleagues want to support good causes of their own choosing – that is why we wanted to give people the opportunity to use a portion of their work time to help out in their local community.
“This is our most ambitious volunteer project to date, and these 2,500 volunteer days will provide our staff with another fantastic opportunity to make a difference to people’s lives.”
1st June 2022